Zat Knight
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Source: Colorado Rapids closing in on signing of ex-England defender Zat Knight

The Colorado Rapids are closing in on the acquisition of veteran English defender Zat Knight, a source confirmed to MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday.

The deal has not yet been finalized. The player is expected to fly into Denver to complete negotiations on a possible transfer. Final negotiations and possible immigration paperwork still stand in the way of a completed deal, although the belief is that the deal will get done.

The Washington Post first reported the news of the Rapids' interest in Knight.

When contacted about the news by MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday, a Rapids spokesperson indicated that the club was "not in a position to comment at this stage." But the Rapids did confirm on Tuesday that they were close to signing an unidenitified veteran defender.

“We should have an answer here in the next day or so,” Rapids technical director Paul Bravo said on Tuesday. “It’s somebody we’ve been working on for a couple of weeks now.”

Knight, 34, is a 12-year veteran of the English Premier League, having most recently played in the English Championship with Bolton Wanderers before being released at the end of last season.

He would appear to fit the Rapids’ desperate need for a center back after the losses of Shane O’Neill, Drew Moor and Jared Watts to injuries, and the Rapids have been coveting a veteran to help fill Moor’s leadership void along the backline.

“His strengths are experience, leadership qualities. He’s going to be very good in the air,” Bravo said on Tuesday about the defender the team was chasing. “He’s also going to be somebody who can command the whole group out on the field from that position. The experience is a big factor, too.”

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.