Schalke: It looks like Zack Steffen won’t be an option at all

Zack Steffen of Fortuna Duesseldorf (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Zack Steffen of Fortuna Duesseldorf (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

FC Schalke 04 had been linked to Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen, but it looks like he isn’t a realistic option in the summer transfer window.

Although FC Schalke 04 have one of the Bundesliga’s best young goalkeepers ready to take over for Alexander Nübel when he joins Bayern Munich on a free transfer, recent rumors linked the Royal Blues to a new starting-caliber goalkeeper.

Schalke would be more than fine with Markus Schubert starting in goal and Ralf Fährmann as his veteran backup, it seems like the club has had their eyes on Anderlecht breakout star Hendrik van Crombrugge and Manchester City’s Zack Steffen.

The latter would be the splashier signing, of course.

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Steffen flashed serious potential in the 2019-2020 season while on loan at Fortuna Düsseldorf, and there had been rumblings that Steffen could also spend the 2020-2021 campaign in the Bundesliga on another loan.

So Schalke were linked to Steffen with this loan deal in mind.

They probably couldn’t afford to sign the young American keeper permanently from City, but a loan deal seemed feasible, especially if the Royal Blues still – for some reason – had cold feet with making Schubert the full-time starter at the age of 22.

However, Kicker reports, via’s Laura Brandt, that the Premier League giants want Steffen to return to the club upon the end of his current loan deal with Fortuna.

City have one of the Premier League’s best keepers in Ederson, but they could use Steffen as a high-quality, young backup. Ederson’s risky style helps City but also leaves him vulnerable to injury, and Steffen is one of the best possible backup options around.

Surely Steffen enjoyed his time in the Bundesliga and would love to receive regular playing time, but Manchester City undoubtedly hold all the cards in this situation. And they’d, hopefully, find a way to make sure he keeps on playing.

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Steffen would have been a dream option from Schalke’s perspective, but it’s honestly better that he’s not available. Instead of developing other talents on loan, they need to help turn Schubert into the great Bundesliga keeper he’s destined to become.