Transfer Tracker

New England Revolution transfer Djordje Petrovic to Chelsea FC

Djordje Petrovic - Chelsea - New England - transfer


The New England Revolution have transferred goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic to Premier League side Chelsea FC, the club announced Saturday.

The 23-year-old Serbian international departs for a reported $17.5 million fee (plus add-ons), leaving MLS 16 months after joining the Revs as their Matt Turner replacement. Petrovic was named a 2023 MLS All-Star and finished second in 2022 MLS Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year voting despite joining the Revs midseason.

This is New England's second consecutive goalkeeper transfer to a high-profile English side after they dealt Turner to Arsenal FC in February 2022. The Turner move was a planned summer transfer, whereas Petrovic departs immediately – with both moves amounting to nearly $25 million combined as New England become more of a selling club.

"Djordje Petrović has been an extremely valuable member of our club and a consummate professional during his time in New England,” Revolution technical director Curt Onalfo said in a release.

"We thank Djordje for all of his contributions to the Revolution during his time with the club. We wish him all the best at Chelsea."

What now?

Petrovic was sensational for the Revs, posting 14 shutouts in 43 regular-season games while routinely making highlight-reel saves. He also stopped five of 16 penalty kicks faced, recording some of the best statistical stretches in MLS goalkeeping history.

To help fill Petrovic's shoes, the Revs acted quickly to acquire Czech Republic international Tomáš Vaclík. Even though the Secondary Transfer Window closed back on Aug. 2, clubs could acquire free agents until the MLS Roster Freeze Date on Sept. 15. Elsewhere, Earl Edwards Jr. had served as Petrovic's backup and Jacob Jackson has shined in MLS NEXT Pro.

As Petrovic departs, New England are second in the MLS Eastern Conference table and expected to contend for silverware when the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs begin in late October.

Global market

Petrovic’s outbound transfer fee constitutes an MLS record for a goalkeeper. It is also among the top 10 all-time transfer fees for any MLS player, regardless of position, reflecting the league’s growing place in the global market.

In 2023, MLS clubs have sold the following players for $10+ million:

Reported Fee
Jhon Durán (ST)
Chicago to Aston Villa (England)
Up to $22 million ($18m base + $4m add-ons)
Djordje Petrovic (GK)
New England to Chelsea (England)
Up to $19.7 million ($17.5m base + $2.2m add-ons)
Taty Castellanos (ST)
NYCFC to Lazio (Italy)
$16.7 million & sell-on %
Gaga Slonina (GK)
Chicago to Chelsea (England)
Up to $15 million ($10m base + $5m add-ons)
Brenner (ST)
Cincinnati to Udinese (Italy)
$10 million + add-ons & sell-on %
Luiz Araújo (F)
Atlanta to Flamengo (Brazil)
$10 million
Gabriel Pereira (F)
NYCFC to Al-Rayyan (Qatar)
Undisclosed eight figures
Ismaël Koné (M)
Montréal to Watford (England)
$8-10 million

The Revs, over the past two years, have now sold players to top-flight teams in France (striker Adam Buksa to RC Lens), Belgium (winger Tajon Buchanan to Club Brugge) and England (Petrovic to Chelsea; Turner to Arsenal). 

Those moves netted the club a reported $40+ million – helping fund the acquisitions of Petrovic, DP striker Giacomo Vrioni and U22 Initiative winger Dylan Borrero. Further, it leaves New England poised to invest in their squad this winter.

Chelsea fit

At Chelsea, Petrovic will look to compete with Robert Sánchez for the starting job after the Spanish international joined this summer from Brighton & Hove Albion. Chelsea have cycled through several goalkeepers in recent months, with Kepa Arrizabalaga heading to Real Madrid on loan and Édouard Mendy being transferred to Saudi side Al-Ahli.

Petrovic is Chelsea's second MLS goalkeeper acquisition in the last year, after they landed Chicago Fire FC homegrown Gaga Slonina for reportedly up to $15 million with add-ons ($10 million base). Slonina stayed with Chicago through last winter before heading to Europe; he is currently on loan at Belgian top-flight side Eupen.

The Blues, who are now led by manager Mauricio Pochettino, are chasing a return to UEFA competition after finishing 12th in the 2022-23 campaign. American owner Todd Boehly, after taking over in May 2022, has reportedly spent upwards of $1.2 billion on incoming transfers.