UPDATE (Jan. 27) – Arsenal and the New England Revolution have reached a verbal agreement for the summertime transfer of US men’s national team goalkeeper Matt Turner, sources confirm to MLSsoccer.com.
ESPN's Taylor Twellman first reported the news. Sources add the deal will be around $6 million up-front and can grow to just under $10 million with incentives.
Arsenal pushed for an immediate deal for Turner to join this week, but the Revs pushed for a summer deal so they could have more time to sort a replacement.
A summer move will keep Turner with the Revolution through their Concacaf Champions League run, as well as the first half of the 2022 MLS season.
Arsenal, currently sixth in the English Premier League table, have England national team goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale as their starter. German national team goalkeeper Bernd Leno has served as the Gunners’ backup in 2021-22, though he's been linked with a move to EPL side Newcastle.
Turner, 27, was the 2021 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year after backstopping a record-setting Supporters’ Shield season. Alongside Philadelphia Union and Jamaica star Andre Blake, he's regarded as a premier shot-stopper in the league.
Earlier on Thursday, sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena went on local Boston radio station 98.5 and revealed that the likelihood for a deal for Turner was "pretty strong."
"I think if things work out the right way, we'll probably lose him in the summer and he'll be with us for the first half of the season," Arena said. "We're in negotiations now with Arsenal to discuss whether we can complete the transfer. But the likelihood of that happening is pretty strong."
Turner is currently with the USMNT for World Cup qualifying.
News of Turner potentially moving to Arsenal has been brewing for a week when Arsenal originally made a bid for the New England goalkeeper. USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said Turner's focus was totally on the task at hand.
"For Matt, similar to the first window, where he was the clear starter going in based on Zack [Steffen]'s fitness, same case in this window, and he's locked in and ready to go," Berhalter told media. "You hear some transfer rumors going around, and you think that would distract the player and Matt’s the opposite. He's able to tune that out and really focus on the task at hand of the game tomorrow. So I've been pleased with that, been pleased with his mindset. It shows how far he's come to get himself in this position."
ESPN's Taylor Twellman first reported the bid.
Sources add that discussions are around what Manchester City paid to acquire USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen from the Columbus Crew in 2019, which was around $7 million initially with incentives to take the total package to around $10 million.
Turner has also spoken of a desire to play in Europe and has a Lithuanian passport. Last January, he signed a contract extension with New England.
Turner, 27, was the 2021 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year after backstopping a record-setting Supporters’ Shield season. He became New England’s starter in 2018 after joining as an undrafted free agent and has since enjoyed a meteoric rise. He’s posted 21 clean sheets in 97 regular-season starts.
At the USMNT level, Turner made 13 appearances since debuting in January 2021. He earned the Concacaf Gold Cup Golden Glove Award last summer while helping the Yanks lift the title over Mexico.
Turner played college soccer at Fairfield University and spent time on loan with the Richmond Kickers in USL before winning the starting spot in New England.
Should Turner join Arsenal, he’d be the latest MLS goalkeeping export to join a Premier League team. Steffen was transferred from the Crew in December 2018 to Manchester City, while Atlanta United’s Brad Guzan used to feature prominently for Aston Villa. USMNT legends like Brad Friedel, Tim Howard and Kasey Keller are other examples.
Last summer, New England completed a club-record transfer of Canadian international and SuperDraft selection Tajon Buchanan to Belgium's Club Brugge. The winger officially joined this winter in a $7 million deal. Polish international striker Adam Buksa also has plenty of European interest as well.