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Columbus Crew midfielder Aidan Morris set for transfer to England

A fee has already been agreed for the two-time MLS Cup winner. Morris has left the USMNT U23 training camp to complete the deal.

What are Middlesbrough getting with Aidan Morris?
Adam CairnsUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Columbus Crew are set to lose a key piece of their MLS Cup-winning squad, agreeing a deal to sell Aidan Morris to English Championship side Middlesbrough.

The 22-year-old made his professional debut with the Crew in 2020 and has gone on to become a mainstay in the midfield, helping the team to MLS Cup triumphs in 2020 and again in 2023. The Athletic reports that Morris will fetch a fee of around $4 million, with a sell-on clause also included in the deal.

A $4 million transfer fee would make Morris the second-biggest outgoing transfer in Crew history, behind only the sale of goalkeeper Zack Steffen to Manchester City. Morris has already made five appearances for the senior United States national side and has previously captained the U-23 team.

What are Middlesbrough getting with Aidan Morris?

Still only 22, Aidan Morris has managed to fit a lot into his professional career. After making his debut in the title-winning 2020 team - becoming the youngest player to feature in MLS Cup - Morris suffered a serious anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury early in the following season.

That injury forced him to miss the entirety of the Crew’s 2021 season and robbed him of the chance to defend the title. In an interview with AS USA ahead of the 2024 season, Morris revealed that he was grateful to have experienced that loss so early in his career.

“It sucked, but if I’m being honest I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Looking back I think that year was so important for me. It made me realize how lucky I am to do something I love everyday, to be with people I love. Obviously you want to be out there playing every day but it gave me a fresh perspective of how lucky I am.”

Over the past 18 months Morris has become a key part of Crew head coach Wilfried Nancy’s dynamic midfield duo, alongside Darlington Nagbe. Columbus play a high-intensity style that demands supreme on-ball confidence and relentless physicality from midfielders. It’s that combination energy and intensity that has seen Morris attract the attention of ambitious European clubs.