After eight seasons at Aston Villa, Brad Guzan
, the USA's No. 1 keeper, could be switching clubs. The Daily Telegraph reported
that Villa, which was relegated to the English League Championship,
wants to grant Guzan free agency, allowing it to get his salary off its books and him to join promoted Middlesbrough.
The 31-year-old Guzan played just eight EPL games in his first four
seasons at Villa before winning the starting job in 2013-14. But at the end of the 2015-16 and with Villa mired in the basement, he lost his starting job to Englishman Mark Bunn
Guzan has one year left on his contract at Villa. A return to MLS has been mentioned but he said in May when he returned to join the USA for the Copa Centenario that he wanted to remain in the Premier
"In my eyes," he said
, "it’s the best league in the world. In
saying that, I’m still contracted to Aston Villa. I still have a year left. So essentially, it’s somewhat out of my hands.”
Guzan came in heavy criticism from Aston
Villa fans in 2015-16, but he said he believed his body of work after eight seasons in England spoke for itself.
"I've been over in England long enough now," he said, "to understand you
have to have thick skin and, as a goalkeeper, a short memory. So I've had good seasons over there, I've made saves. I think I've proven myself in terms of playing at the highest level."
Italian Roberto Di Matteo
has been hired as Aston Villa manager and brought in countryman Pierluigi Gollini
from Hellas Verona. With Bunn and Jed Steer
as back, Guzan's
future at Villa was made uncertain.
Middlesbrough signed Spaniard Victor Valdes
with whom Guzan would compete for the starting job in goal.