Ricardo Pepi is the current subject of interest. Clubs in Italy, Germany and England are chasing the forward with a record-breaking MLS transfer looking set to go ahead, 90min can confirm.
Pepi wouldn’t be the first to come out of Texas as Dallas have exported a number of young Americans to Europe, including Weston McKennie, Chris Richards, Reggie Cannon and Bryan Reynolds.
Just 18 years old, Pepi has exploded onto the scene this season, scoring 12 goals in 24 MLS appearances despite FC Dallas struggling below the playoff line in the Western Conference.
His form at club level was enough to convince Gregg Berhalter to give Pepi his first call-up for the United States Men’s National Team, despite the teenager also being eligible to represent Mexico.
Pepi’s transition to life at international level was predictably smooth, grabbing a goal and two assists on his debut to help the USMNT come from behind to beat Honduras 4-1 earlier in September. As such, Pepi is the second-youngest USMNT player to score in a World Cup Qualifier at 18 years and 242 days old, only behind Christian Pulisic.
A source with knowledge of the situation has revealed to 90min that three clubs from Italy, two from Germany and two from England are showing an active interest in signing Pepi. Two of the three Italian clubs are in this season’s Uefa Champions League, as is the case for both German clubs. All clubs involved play in their respective top-flight leagues.
What’s more, 90min are told the fee for Pepi is set to “eclipse” the $13.5m initial fee – which could rise to $22m – Bayern Munich paid the Vancouver Whitecaps for Alphonso Davies back in July 2018. The Canada international remains Major League Soccer’s most valuable outgoing transfer for a homegrown player.
FC Dallas are currently 11th in the Western Conference, eight points and four places below the playoff line. The Texas side recently parted ways with head coach, Luchi Gonzalez.
According to 90min sources, Pepi’s representatives are pushing to complete a deal within the next two weeks. This would allow him to train with his new club following the conclusion of Dallas’ 2021 season.