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Columbus Crew's Zack Steffen will join Manchester City in record move for MLS goalkeeper

While Zack Steffen would be unlikely to play right away at Manchester City, Raf Honigstein explains why the move would make sense for the American.

Columbus Crew SC announced on Tuesday that goalkeeper Zack Steffen will join Manchester City during Major League Soccer's summer transfer window.

Steffen, 23, is expected to cost the Premier League title holders between £7 million and £10 million -- which would constitute a Crew and league record for a keeper -- with the deal set to be completed when MLS opens its secondary transfer window on July 9, 2019.

Manchester City also confirmed the news of the deal, saying Steffen would remain with the Crew for the start of the 2019 MLS campaign before joining them on a four-year deal in July.

"This is a historic transaction for the club and a special moment for Zack Steffen that we are immensely proud of," said Columbus Crew SC interim general manager Pat Onstad on the club's website. "Today's announcement is the culmination of two-and-a-half years of development and success for Zack. As someone who worked closely with Zack throughout, on behalf of the club, I would like to say that we couldn't be happier for him."

Steffen, who began his career with Freiberg in 2015, has seen his stock rise considerably in the past two seasons and was named 2018 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year as well as having a breakout season with the U.S. national team, playing in six of the team's 11 matches during 2018.

He has posted 19 shutouts in 63 career appearances for the Crew.

"Any success that I have had as a goalkeeper in MLS with Crew SC is a testament to those around me who have pushed me -- teammates, coaches, staff, family, friends and supporters," Steffen said. "Today's announcement regarding next summer is a special moment for me and I look forward to finishing my time with this Club on a strong note. I am eager to continue to put in the work to improve and be the best teammate I can."

It's not clear whether Steffen will immediately qualify for a work permit, as he currently doesn't have enough international caps, or if he will have to go to another club on loan.

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