London, Nov 28: Manchester City are close to agreeing to a deal to sign USA international keeper Zack Steffen from MLS side Columbus Crew, according to reports.
The 23-year-old reportedly has held talks with the representative of the Premier League side over a January move and apparently, the fee has been negotiated with the clubs and Major League Soccer which is somewhere between £5m and £8m.
The US international has been with the MLS side since the last two years following his move from Freiburg and in the meantime has gone from strength to strength to become one of the best goalkeepers in the league. He helped his team reach the end of season playoffs in the 2017 and 2018 seasons and even won the 2018 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.
Manchester City have targeted a surprise name as the long-term number 2, Columbus Crew & USA goalkeeper Zack Steffen (23), who will cost around £5m.— City Watch (@City_Watch) November 25, 2018
City scouts believe Steffen is a star of the future and want to secure his future before sorting out a work permit. pic.twitter.com/WtQhrdnT5m
City now apparently looking at the possibility to land him with a view to replacing ageing Clause Bravo who is currently out injured for the whole season due to a ligament injury.
Although amidst of all such talks, his agent has not commented on the matter yet and remain coy on the transfer talk. But the MLS side's coach Gregg Berhalter recently has addressed the situation while talking with ESPN and confirmed that there has been an approach from an unnamed side.
"The club has been approached regarding the potential transfer of goalkeeper Zack Steffen, but no deal has been finalized, and the club will not be commenting on the specifics of reported offers," said Berhalter.
However, should the transfer happen still there could an obstruction in the procedure. The young shot-stopper although has six international caps to his name at the moment but it is not enough to earn an automatic work permit. So, he would need to receive a special exemption to play in Europe and till then City could loan him back to Columbus Crew while that process is ongoing.