Chelsea have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund starlet Christian Pulisic, after the club's sporting director Michael Zorc ruled out the possibility of selling the player in the January transfer window.
The USA international has been heavily linked with the Blues recently, as his contract talks with the Bundesliga giants continue to stall. The dynamic winger has seen himself outshone by England wonderkid Jason Sancho so far this season, and is believed to be assessing his options - which could include succeeding Eden Hazard as Chelsea's go-to flair player.
However, in an interview with Germany outlet Kicker, Zorc denied claims that the Blues would complete a €80m swoop for the 20-year-old in the upcoming transfer window, and said: "We have known these rumors for many years. We plan at least until the end of the season with him. Pulisic will not leave BVB in winter."
It seems then that the Blues will need to remain patient, and renew their efforts to sign the promising player at the end of the season. While Pulisic hasn't been at his best this season, it would be an unusual move to up sticks and leave midway through the campaign, given that his side are currently on track to end Bayern Munich's six year Bundesliga title-winning streak.
Chelsea have started the season strongly under their new manger Maurizio Sarri, but will be mindful of the fact that Hazard will most likely leave the club at the end of the campaign. Pulisic could prove a worthy heir to the Belgium international, but is arguably still a raw talent requiring much practice to reach Hazard's level of consistency.