BIRMINGHAM, England -- Brad Guzan could become the fourth American goalkeeper in the Premier League after Chivas USA and Aston Villa agreed to a transfer fee on Saturday.
The switch from Major League Soccer requires Guzan to obtain a British work permit, a hurdle that thwarted a deal in January.
The 24-year-old Guzan would join Brad Friedel at Blackburn, Tim Howard at Everton and Kasey Keller at Fulham in England's top soccer league.
"Aston Villa can confirm that a fee has been agreed this morning for Brad Guzan and he will become a Villa player subject to gaining a work permit," the club said Saturday.
Villa believes Guzan's recent international appearances, including playing against England at Wembley in May, will make getting a work permit easier this time around.
Villa has just one senior goalkeeper, Stuart Taylor, after Thomas Sorensen was released and Scott Carson returned to Liverpool after a loan spell.
"Hopefully it all goes well," Guzan said. "Hopefully, I will be able to sign."
Guzan played in the 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy on Friday.
"I would love to sign for Villa," he said. "When I was there in January for a few days, it was an absolutely brilliant time. Great people, great facilities and I couldn't say one bad thing about it. ...
"Being amongst good people who understand the game of football and are people who able to put players out on the pitch to compete week in, week out, that is important to me and that is what I want to be involved in."
He is keen to work with manager Martin O'Neill.
"It looks like exciting times at Villa and I would love to play for Martin O'Neill," Guzan said. "When I met Martin at the end of January, he was a fabulous guy, a great person. The entire staff were outstanding."
Guzan was named MLS goalkeeper of the year in October after his third year as a professional. He led Chivas to the best record in the Western Conference and ranked first among goalkeepers with 13 games having not conceded a goal.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press