Chelsea will take their strongest possible squad to the United States for their post-season friendly against New England Revolution but Christian Pulisic will not be involved, sources have told ESPN FC.
Pulisic, who completed a £57.6 million move to Stamford Bridge in January before being loaned back to Dortmund for the rest of the season, is the face of U.S. soccer and as such Chelsea were eager for the winger to make his first appearance in Chelsea colours at Gillette Stadium on May 15.
There is an acceptance, however, that Dortmund's commitments take priority. Sources have told ESPN FC that the German giants -- who are in a close Bundesliga title race with rivals Bayern Munich that could run until the final day of the season on May 18 -- would not sanction the winger's early departure. In any case, FIFA regulations do not permit clubs to recall players from half-season loans before the term expires.
The timing of the friendly against the Revolution -- first reported by ESPN FC in November -- just three days after the final day of the Premier League season on May 12 has raised eyebrows, not least in light of Chelsea's potential involvement in the Europa League final in Baku on May 29.
But sources have told ESPN FC that Chelsea feared delaying the match until June could result in some of the biggest names in their squad being unavailable due to international commitments.
Chelsea are determined to take their best players to Gillette Stadium for the friendly, which was arranged as part of the club's "Say No to Antisemitism" initiative launched by owner Roman Abramovich in January 2018.
Abramovich and Revolution owner Robert Kraft, who also controls NFL team the New England Patriots, have both pledged to donate $1 million (£778,565) to the fight against antisemitism, with all money from ticket sales going towards raising funds for projects promoting equality and tolerance.