Manchester City have agreement to sign Stefan Ortega if Zack Steffen goes

The Guardian - Thu Jun 23 11:27

Manchester City have a verbal agreement to sign the goalkeeper Stefan Ortega as backup to Ederson if Zack Steffen leaves in search of more game time. Ortega’s contract at Arminia Bielefeld expires at the end of this month and the 29-year-old German, who has also played for 1860 Munich, has made City his preferred destination.

He started all but one of Arminia’s Bundesliga games last season, missing the other because he had Covid, and played every minute for the club in the league in 2020-21.

Steffen was largely restricted to appearances for City in the domestic cups and faces a battle to be the starting goalkeeper for the US at the World Cup. He missed this month’s international matches for family reasons.

West Ham are increasingly confident of signing Alphonse Areola on a permanent deal, after the goalkeeper spent last season on loan from Paris Saint-Germain. There had been concerns at the club because of interest from Newcastle but with Nick Pope heading to St James’ Park from Burnley and Areola keen on the move an agreement for about £10.5m appears to be within reach.

The RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku has extended his contract to 2026. The 24-year-old, who had attracted interest from clubs including Chelsea, has a release clause valid from next summer. The figure is €60m (£51.6m) but could grow as he gets further into his deal.

Paul Pogba’s move to Juventus is a step closer after his agent, Rafaela Pimenta, held a meeting with the club on Thursday. Final details are being worked out for the midfielder’s return.