Columbus Crew SC and U.S. men’s national team keeper Zack Steffen has completed a move to Manchester City, according to multiple reports.
When Pro Soccer USA asked Crew SC for comment, a team spokesperson declined, saying the team will “pass on adding comment to today’s reports regarding offers for Zack Steffen.”
The move, first reported by Goal.com, comes after a banner year for Steffen, who was named MLS keeper of the year and made his first appearances for the national team. An impressive performance against eventual World Cup winner France put Steffen in control of the top spot on the depth chart for the national team. Ever humble, Steffen is always quick to thank his back line for his impressive stats.
While a move to Man City may be complete, the odds of Steffen playing for the team anytime soon remain slim. He does not currently qualify for a work permit because he does not have a passport from a European country and has not made enough appearances with the national team yet to get an exemption. The only possibility is winning an appeal, the outcome of which is tough to predict.
In 2013, Juan Agudelo was set to transfer to Stoke City under similar circumstances, but his appeal was denied. Stoke went ahead with the transfer, loaning Agudelo to FC Utrecht. After that season, Stoke applied for an appeal again, but it was again denied, and Agudelo rejoined the New England Revolution. Man City could try a similar approach, loaning out Steffen if his appeal is denied.
Pro Soccer USA will continue to monitor this story and update as additional details become available.