Sources: U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen in talks with Manchester City
Columbus Crew and U.S. international goalkeeper Zack Steffen is in negotiations to be transferred to Manchester City, multiple sources have confirmed to ESPN FC, with the fee expected to be between $7 million to $10 million.
Reached by telephone, Crew manager and sporting director Gregg Berhalter told ESPN FC, "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."
Steffen's agent, Dan Segal, declined to comment.
But multiple sources have confirmed the talks to acquire Steffen are in an advanced stage and could be completed by the end of the week. Sources also confirmed that Columbus will receive an undisclosed percentage of any transfer fee if Steffen is subsequently transferred.
Steffen has seen his stock grow considerably in the past two seasons, and was named the 2018 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. His performances helped the Crew reach the MLS playoffs twice, making 71 league and playoff appearances and recording 22 shutouts. Steffen has also seen his international profile increase, making six appearances for the U.S., including a stellar performance in a pre-World Cup friendly against France that ended in a 1-1 draw.
If the deal is completed with the English Premier League side, Steffen would still need to acquire a work permit and would likely need to receive a special exemption since he hasn't played enough competitive international fixtures with the U.S. team. Steffen could be loaned out while he goes through that process.
After playing collegiately for two seasons at the University of Maryland, Steffen began his professional career with German side Freiberg in 2015. But he didn't make a first-team appearance, instead playing 14 times for the club's reserve team. He was acquired by the Crew in the summer of 2016 and played nine games on loan for the third-tier Pittsburgh Riverhounds before securing the starting job with the Crew in 2017.