Zack Steffen was named the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2018 and could be headed for the Premier League. 

By Michael Shapiro
November 26, 2018

Columbus Crew and U.S. men's national team goalkeeper Zack Steffen is reportedly on the cusp of a transfer to Manchester City, according to The Athletic's Paul Tenorio. Steffen's outgoing transfer fee is likely to be "somewhere between $7 million and $10 million", according to the report, making it one of the biggest in MLS history.

The 23-year-old goalkeeper is expected to head to the Premier League when its transfer window opens on Jan. 1. He has spent the past two-and-a-half seasons with Columbus, winning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2018. Steffen played for German club Freiburg before coming to the Crew.

Steffen, who is in the mix to be the USMNT's No. 1 goalkeeper for the 2022 World Cup cycle, was a hot commodity on the transfer market, according to the report, with "a number of European teams" expressing interest. Columbus rejected a $3.9 million transfer offer from Championship side Bristol City for Steffen in July, according to ESPN. 

“It’s amazing to feel wanted to get those types of offers. And I do want to go over to Europe," Steffen told SI's Grant Wahl about the potential move in September. "Whenever that is, I have little say in it. But I think everything happens for a reason. The fact that didn’t happen, it happened and we move on, and I’m in a good place in Columbus with great teammates and coaches, and I get the opportunity to come with the national team and play amazing games. So I’m happy.”

CREDITOR: USMNT's 2018 Marked By Incremental Growth, Missed Opportunity

Steffen would slot in behind entrenched starting goalkeeper Ederson should his move to Man City be finalized, though it's unclear if he would remain with the first team or head out on loan. There's also the matter of securing a UK work permit, which Steffen would require to play for Pep Guardiola's side. City, which currently leads the Premier League and is unbeaten (11-0-2) through 13 games, is thin at goalkeeper, with backup Claudio Bravo out for the season after tearing his Achilles. Arijanet Muric, 20, is presently the backup. 

The University of Maryland product has registered 19 clean sheets in 63 regular-season games with Columbus and earned notoriety for his proficiency on penalty kicks, especially in the playoffs, over the last two seasons with the Crew.

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