Per new information from both kicker in Germany and The Guardian in the United Kingdom, Arminia Bielefeld keeper Stefan Ortega is set to join Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the Premier League after already agreeing on personal terms. He’ll be making the move to serve as Ederson’s direct backup keeper as American Zack Steffen is reportedly looking for a new club this summer to get more regular minutes before Greg Berhalter has to make his final U.S Men’s squad for this winter’s World Cup in Qatar.
Bayern Munich had showed significant interest in Ortega during various stages of this past season but, as has been the case for the past couple of seasons at Bayern, the goalkeeping situation at the club has a lot of moving parts. Manuel Neuer recently extended his contract, as did backup keeper Sven Ulreich. Alexander Nubel is still out on loan with AS Monaco and has made it clear he has no intentions of returning to Bayern and would rather find a permanent solution elsewhere once his Monaco loan spell expires. Both Christian Fruchtl and Ron-Thorben Hoffmann have also left the club, but reportedly have buy-back clauses in their respective contracts.
Ortega had once said that if he were to leave Arminia Bielefeld for any other Bundesliga club, Bayern would be the only possible destination, knowing very well that he would likely have to serve as Neuer’s backup for a considerable period. Perhaps at City, because there are more domestic cup competitions than there are in Germany, he feels there is ample opportunity for a decent amount of minutes even serving as a backup to Ederson. With Man City’s track record of progressing early in the group stages in the Champions League, that also leaves opportunities for Ortega, theoretically. Guardiola has often used different backups as “cup goalkeepers,” just as Steffen had deputized most often in the Carabao and FA Cups this past season.
Ortega’s current contract at Bielefeld is set to expire at the end of this month, so a finalized deal is expected to be announced very soon and made official. He will follow Erling Haaland as City’s second signing of this summer window if there isn’t to be any signings in between now and when Ortega is made official.