Report: Sporting KC's Erik Palmer-Brown signs with Manchester City

Erik Palmer-Brown -- Looks off in distance -- Sporting KC

Long the subject of interest from European suitors, it appears that Sporting Kansas City's Erik Palmer-Brown will be on the move across the Atlantic at the end of the year.

Metro New York's Kristian Dyer reported on Sunday morning that Palmer-Brown, 20, had agreed to a four-and-a-half year deal with English Premier League outfit Manchester City that will begin upon the expiration of his Sporting KC deal at the end of 2017. The Kansas City Star's Sam McDowell subsequently confirmed the report.

Per the Metro New York report, Manchester City beat out competition from Paris Saint-Germain, PSV and Ajax – among other prominent European clubs – for the US Under-20 national team standout.

“He came to us and said there might be an opportunity. I said to him, ‘Look, if that’s what you want to do, then we’ll support you,’” Sporting KC coach and technical director Peter Vermes told the Star after Sporting's 1-1 draw in Columbus on Sunday. “He’s played out his contract. It’s happened with other guys. It’s just one of those situations.”

Since Palmer-Brown is leaving Sporting on a free transfer at the end of his deal, SKC will retain his rights within MLS. The youngster is the latest MLS academy product to move to a Premier League side after DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle to Tottenham, 2015) and Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls to Chelsea, 2016).

“We believed we made him a very good offer in MLS,” Vermes said.

Palmer-Brown has made 16 appearances for Sporting since signing out of the academy in 2013 at the the age of 16. He was reportedly the subject of a $1 million transfer bid from Italian giants Juventus in January 2014. In 2016, he moved on loan to Porto B, the reserve team of FC Porto, where he helped the squad to the 2015-16 Portuguese second division title before returning to Kansas City for the 2017 MLS season.

On the international level, Palmer-Brown was named captain of the US U-20s earlier this year and led the team to its first CONCACAF title in program history. He also showed well at this summer's Under-20 World Cup as the USA made a run to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual finalists Venezuela.

Palmer-Brown is joining a Manchester City club that captured the Premier League title in 2012 and 2014 and is now led by high-profile manager Pep Guardiola. Given the Citizens' squad depth, it is most likely that Palmer-Brown will be loaned out upon making the move to England.