USMNT star Christian Pulisic stays at Chelsea despite lack of playing time

U.S. men's national team star Christian Pulisic is set to stay at Chelsea at least until January after the summer transfer window closed across much of Europe on Thursday without a move materializing.

Pulisic has yet to start any of Chelsea's first five games of the Premier League season, appearing for a total of 95 minutes off the substitutes' bench.

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The 23-year-old has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge this summer in order to find regular playing time ahead of the 2022 World Cup, which starts in November.

ESPN reported last month that Pulisic held talks with Chelsea over his future. One source with knowledge of the discussions told ESPN that Pulisic was informed he would be used primarily as an impact player, but with every chance he could break into the first team.

Manchester United inquired about the possibility of signing Pulisic, prior to agreeing a €100 million deal to sign Brazilian forward Antony from Ajax.

However, the prospects of any move were complicated by Chelsea's reluctance to leave themselves shorthanded in attack following the departures of Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi this summer.

Chelsea failed to agree a deal for Everton winger Anthony Gordon despite making multiple offers for the England Under-21 international. Thomas Tuchel's side did, though, complete a deal to sign forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona before the window closed on Thursday.

Speaking on Wednesday, U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter backed Pulisic to win back his place in the Chelsea team.

"I'm a guy that bets on Christian just because I've seen it before," Berhalter said after an event to promote Nike's World Cup jersey launch on Sept. 15.

"He is not counted on in a way that he'd like to, and he gets on the field and he proves everyone wrong and he ends up playing. I mean that's what he's been doing. So I tend to believe that's going to happen. And I think his mind is n a good spot and I think he's going to fight for it because that's the type of guy he is."

The next transfer window will open on Jan. 1, after the conclusion of the World Cup in Qatar.