Here’s the latest on Chelsea’s reported interest in Djordje Petrović and other Revolution transfer rumors

New England Revolution

A trio of important players on New England’s roster have reportedly drawn interest from European clubs.

Djordje Petrović Chelsea transfer rumors
Revolution goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic has reportedly drawn interest from English Premier League club Chelsea. AP Photo/Mark Stockwell

As the Revolution await the return of Major League Soccer’s regular season — still on hold due to the Leagues Cup — the rumor mill continues to churn around possible end-of-summer transfers.

Starting goalkeeper Djordje Petrović, left back DeJuan Jones, and emerging midfield talent Noel Buck are all reportedly targets for a range of European clubs.

Petrović, New England’s 23-year-old All-Star, is linked with what would be a potentially major move to five-time Premier League champions Chelsea, according to a recent report from Mike McGrath of The Telegraph. This comes after Manchester United were also reportedly keeping tabs on him in June.

Earlier reported transfer bids made from Nottingham Forest of England and FC Nantes of France for Petrović were rejected, with Forest eventually moving on to sign Matt Turner from Arsenal (Petrović’s predecessor in New England). According to Seth Macomber of The Blazing Musket, the Revolution turned away multiple bids from the two clubs.

The reason New England would resist what appears to be an inevitable path for its up-and-coming goalkeeper is largely based on two factors.

The first is that, in simple terms, the Revolution would have very limited options in finding a replacement for the rest of 2023. The midseason MLS transfer window closed earlier in August, meaning that the team would be selling without being able to buy.

The other factor (which is related to the first) is that MLS runs on a different schedule than most European leagues. Where MLS is already halfway through a season in the summer, most leagues around the world begin in August and run through the following spring.

This means that an MLS team could potentially lose a star midway through the regular season in order for the European club to add that player in its preseason.

The Revolution have worked to avoid this in the past. When former winger Tajon Buchanan agreed to a deal with Belgian side Club Brugge in Aug. 2021, the agreement stipulated that the Canadian international would remain with New England until the end of its season (joining Brugge the following January).

It’s likely that the Revolution are seeking a similar arrangement with Petrović, as well as Jones and Buck.

In Jones’s case, the 26-year-old was recently tied to possible moves to Standard Liege of Belgium as well as Bundesliga clubs FC Augsburg and VfB Stuttgart in a report from Jeff Carlisle of ESPN.

Buck, meanwhile, is on the radar of “several English clubs,” according to Tom Bogert of The Athletic. The 18-year-old Arlington native has dual citizenship (United States and England) through his father, and Bogert also added that the talented academy graduate is “expected” to receive a call-up to one of England’s youth national teams in the coming weeks.

It’s not the first time the Revolution have been caught up in the less than ideal timing of European transfer interest. One of the recent (and most prominent) cases came in 2021, when the club raced to its first ever Supporters’ Shield win amid a record MLS regular season point total. Just as is the case in 2023, three New England players drew interest (Turner, Buchanan, and Polish striker Adam Buksa). All of them eventually departed.

The price of success for soccer clubs around the world — particularly those that develop talented young players — is that more prestigious and better funded European teams will eventually come calling. MLS is no exception, though Revolution management will hope that it can at least keep its current roster together until the end of the season.

After all, the Revolution currently sit second in the Eastern Conference, and could be an MLS Cup contender if players stay healthy (though that also depends on the ongoing league investigation into head coach Bruce Arena, currently on administrative leave over “insensitive and inappropriate remarks“).

The transfer windows for top European leagues close on Sept. 1. Whether the Revolution are able to retain all of the players linked with possible exits remains to be seen.

The MLS regular season resumes for New England on Aug. 26 against Montreal, the first of 11 remaining games on the schedule prior to the start of the playoffs.

Originally posted 2023-08-18 18:34:13.