The latest Ricardo Pepi transfer news is that the USMNT teenage sensation has requested a move from FC Dallas and European giants are lining up to sign him.
Get hyped, USMNT fans.
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With Pepi, the hype seems to be justified as the dual-national chose to represent the USMNT and in his first few games as a full international he has showcased his incredible finishing talent in World Cup qualifiers.
That has seen clubs across Europe sit up and take notice and it appears that Pepi, 18, is now ready to make the move.
Let’s dig a little deeper on these reports.
Premier League clubs lining up to sign Pepi
The latest reports on Ricardo Pepi are from the Daily Mirror in the UK. They claim that Liverpool, Manchester United, Brentford and Brighton all want to sign the teenage striker.
Per the report, Pepi is keen to make the move to Europe now so he can cement his spot as the USMNT’s starting center forward for the 2022 World Cup.
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A move to Brentford or Brighton would be better for his immediate future, as he would have a lot better chance of playing right away than trying to usurp the superstar strikers at Liverpool and Manchester United.
That said, if he did join one of those giants a loan move away could be a very solid choice and he will then be contracted to a Premier League giant as he continues to develop.
USMNT rising star Ricardo Pepi reportedly requests transfer
A recent report from 90min stated that Pepi has handed in a transfer request at FC Dallas, and that he has already agreed a contract, in principle, with Wolfsburg.
CBS Sports had previously stated that Pepi has interest from Liverpool and Inter Milan, while Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax are also interested. Plus, Sampdoria had an $8 million turned down.
This, like Pepi’s career, has all escalated very quickly.
Pepi, 18, only made his USMNT debut last month but he has now scored three goals and added two assists in his first four appearances for the Stars and Stripes (all of which are World Cup qualifiers). He has 13 goals in 22 appearances for Dallas this season in MLS and is clearly heading elsewhere in January.
Previous reports said that Ajax had met with Pepi’s representatives in Dallas, while it is now believed that his current transfer value would be over $15 million.
That would see Pepi get close to Alphonso Davies’ record as the most-expensive homegrown player in MLS history.
Where would be the best fit for Pepi?
After producing the likes of Weston McKennie, Chris Richards, Bryan Reynolds, Reggie Cannon and Tanner Tessmann through their academy, FC Dallas continues to be the best team for young Americans to join if they want a speedy route to Europe from MLS.
Pepi is the next player set to leave, as his representatives are said to want the move wrapped up so he is with his new European team and ready to roll from Jan. 1.
Brentford, Brighton, Ajax, Dortmund or Wolfsburg would surely be the best fit for Pepi, right now. And the Dutch giants are perhaps the standout option.
But, if Dortmund do sell Erling Haaland next summer then Pepi could have a chance to fight for a starting spot at one of the biggest clubs in Europe, who have a track record of signing young American stars. If he does fancy a move to the Premier League, Brighton need to bolster their attack and Brentford have an incredible record at developing talented youngsters with their Moneyball method.
Whatever happens, Pepi needs to join a club which plays an attractive, attacking style and is renowned for developing young talent in the right way.
Quite simply a move to somewhere he is going to play regularly is a much better fit than Pepi going to a huge team in Germany, Italy or England and not playing over the next few years.