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United States men's national team star Ricardo Pepi is ready for a new challenge. One of the most appreciated American talents, the FC Dallas striker is now close to an opportunity in Europe. Many teams have started contacts to buy Pepi, and his agent has met top clubs in Italy (Inter Milan and Sampdoria) in person, as well as England, where Wolverhampton have been linked to the 18-year-old.

Pepi recently said that his biggest dream is playing for Real Madrid, one of the many clubs that have met the striker's agent. Ajax, Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich are also interested in the American talent. But now it looks like Pepi is ready to get the green light from FC Dallas to leave the MLS club. The intention has always been to decline the € 9-10 million offers, and CBS Sports has reported before that the club is looking for bigger offers, but some clubs are starting to improve their proposals.

Pepi is increasingly tempted to head to Germany's Bundesliga. No agreement has been reached, but negotiations are in progress and Pepi has a strong chance of leaving Dallas in January.

A potential move would cap a breakout year for the young striker who exploded onto the scene in 2021 for both club and country. Pepi scored 13 goals for Dallas in just under 2,300 minutes, a total which he accumulated on only 67 shots and which far outstripped his xG total of 8.86 according to the MLS advanced stats calculated by American Soccer Analysis. In addition he put on a show during MLS's All-Star skills competition, winning the crossing and volleying event in style.

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Though impressive as his MLS season was, it's during international duty with the USMNT where he's really shined. Pepi made an unforgettable debut for Gregg Berhalter's side on Sept. 9 in Honduras during Concacaf World Cup qualifying. He scored a goal and notched two assists to spearhead a crucial comeback, turning what would have been a devastating loss into a 4-1 victory. He followed that up with two more goals in the sides next match, a home victory over Jamaica, back-to-back matches which cemented his place in the American national team set-up as perhaps the nation's first-choice striker.

Should Pepi move he will join a host of other American attackers playing at the top of the European game. Chelsea's Christian Pulisic is perhaps the most well known of the young dynamic American corps, but across Europe there's also Gio Reyna at Borussia Dortmund, Brenden Aaronson at RB Salzburg, Tim Weah at Lille and even Jordan Pefok playing for Young Boys in Switzerland. That's before getting to players who find themselves largely on the outside of the USMNT set-up looking in these days like Josh Sargent at Norwich City.

Wherever Pepi lands, he will be another exciting American in a growing wave of players that European sides are increasingly taking more and more seriously.