Columbus, Ohio (November 24, 2018) — Zack Steffen may be on his way overseas.
According to a report from Mike McGrath of U.K. publication The Sun, the current Columbus Crew SC goalkeeper is a target of English Premier League giants Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side is prepared to make a $6.4 million bid for the 23-year-old.
— Mike McGrath (@mcgrathmike) November 24, 2018
Report: Columbus Crew SC Goalkeeper Zack Steffen a Target of Manchester City
City is currently dealing with depth issues at goalie following a season-ending Achilles injury to number one Claudio Bravo. McGrath’s story indicated that Steffen would function as the club’s second keeper behind Ederson.
Steffen needs a U.K. work permit in order to complete the transfer. That could be an issue as he needs to have played in at least 75 percent of his team’s internationals over the last two years in order to qualify for one. Steffen has just six appearances for the USMNT, all of which came in 2018.
The only way for Steffen to bypass that requirement is for Man City to apply for a “special talent” exemption. The club could also have Arijanet Muric function as the number two behind Ederson until Steffen becomes eligible for a work permit. Muric is currently on loan at Dutch Eredivisie club NAC Breda.
Steffen arrived in Columbus as a discovery signing after a spell with Bundesliga club Freiburg. The move came as a result of him struggling to get first-team minutes in Germany. Suffice it to say that wasn’t the case with Crew SC as he’s made a total of 71 starts over the past two seasons.
Eight of those came in the postseason. It included two instances where his exploits in net helped Crew SC win games via a penalty shootout. Both came in the knockout round, against Atlanta United in 2017 and D.C. United this season. One of his more impressive feats during the 2018 regular season was going 525 straight minutes without conceding a goal. It set a club record and is also the eighth-longest streak in MLS history.