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Ricardo Pepi signs new FC Dallas deal amid Serie A interest

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Is Ricardo Pepi ready to make the jump from MLS to Serie A? (1:15)

Herculez Gomez examines the potential of 18-year-old FC Dallas star Ricardo Pepi amid reported interest from Bologna. (1:15)

FC Dallas has locked up emerging 18-year-old star forward Ricardo Pepi with a five-year contract extension, the team announced on Tuesday.

Pepi, who has been linked with a move to Serie A's Bologna, has eight goals in 14 appearances (nine starts) this season.

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"I'm very happy to give my everything to FC Dallas," Pepi said in a statement. "I want to thank the club for having that trust in me. It's a big step in my career, personally and for my family."

Pepi scored three goals in a 4-0 win over the LA Galaxy on Saturday to become the youngest player in MLS history (18 years, 196 days) to score a hat trick.

The El Paso native is in his third season with FC Dallas. He has 10 goals and one assists in 38 MLS appearances (13 starts).