Orlando have released a statement saying that the 24-year-old will depart at the end of the 2021 US season. “Orlando City SC and Chris Mueller have been involved in contract negotiations for some time, with the forward’s contract set to expire following the 2021 Major League Soccer season,” it read. “Earlier, Mueller informed the club that he has signed a pre-contract to join a European team upon the end of his time with Orlando City. The pre-contract was signed in line with all FIFA regulations.
“As noted, Mueller’s contract with Orlando City is valid through the end of the 2021 MLS season and will continue as a member of the Lions’ roster for the remainder of his time in Orlando.”
Mueller, twice capped by the US national team, is a 5ft 9in forward who can play centrally or out wide. And, according to Washington Post football correspondent Steven Goff, Mueller’s most likely destination is Scotland
"Orlando City's Chris Mueller, whose MLS deal expires this winter, has signed a pre-contract to join a European team after this season, multiple sources say,” tweeted Goff. “He and Orlando were in negotiations but did not reach a deal. Expecting him to land in Scotland on a free transfer.”
Aberdeen and Rangers both have US-based owners and are understood to tapping into the American market, while both Celtic, Rangers and Hearts are looking to bolster their forward lines.
Belgian club Oostende are also credited with an interest in the Illinois-born player. They were in discussions over a potential six-figure transfer deal earlier in the year, but reports in the States now suggest Scotland is Mueller’s most likely destination.
Mueller started his college career with Wisconsin Badgers before moving to Des Moines Menace in 2016. A year later, he joined Chicago FC United, but was swiftly picked up by Orlando in 2018 in the MLS SuperDraft , where he has scored 20 goals in 90 appearances and is recognised as one of their most prized assets.