US men's national team goalkeeper Zack Steffen is in advanced talks to join English Championship side Middlesbrough on loan from back-to-back Premier League champions Manchester City, a source confirms to MLSsoccer.com. The deal is likely to get done.

The Manchester Evening News first reported the news.

Steffen was seemingly set to be Ederson's backup once again, but pushed for a move to get more playing time ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, something Manchester City wanted as well.

Middlesbrough finished seventh in the Championship last season, one spot beneath the promotion playoff field. Fellow USMNT players in the English second tier include forwards Daryl Dike (West Brom) and Josh Sargent (Norwich City). Americans Antonee Robinson and Tim Ream just won the Championship with Fulham in 2021-22 and gained promotion to the Premier League.

Steffen, 27, signed a contract extension with Manchester City in November, prolonging his deal with the English champions through 2025.

Earlier this summer, a move away from Manchester looked unlikely, particularly a loan given his role as Ederson's backup and the difficulties it would pose in finding a suitable backup for potentially just one season. But City are finalizing the signing of goalkeeper Stefan Ortega from 2. Bundesliga side Arminia Bielefeld, paving the way for Steffen to be free to leave on loan.

It's unclear what his future holds, whether it will be back to City in a year or if the Middlesbrough loan will prompt a permanent move away from Pep Guardiola's squad.

Steffen is competing to be the USMNT's starting goalkeeper at the World Cup this fall. Regular playing time will help his case. Matt Turner just transferred to Arsenal from the New England Revolution, where he's likely to be second-choice at the Premier League club behind Aaron Ramsdale. NYCFC's Sean Johnson and Nottingham Forrest's Ethan Horvath are also in the mix.

After joining Manchester City from the Columbus Crew in 2019, Steffen has won the Premier League twice, though only featured in one league game in each of those seasons. Steffen has a total of 21 appearances with City in all competitions, mainly domestic cups (FA Cup and League Cup). He has two UEFA Champions League starts.

Steffen spent 2019-20 on loan at then-Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf from City as well, where he featured in 16 league games. He has 29 caps with the USMNT.