The 36-year-old US national team goalkeeper has recently been linked with a move to the Colorado Rapids.
Former Tottenham Hotspur and US national team goalkeeper Kasey Keller has told ESPN FC that he would not be surprised to see Tim Howard return to MLS in the near future amid reports linking the Everton No. 1 with a move to the Colorado Rapids.
ESPN FC reported last week that the Rapids are pursuing a deal for Howard after acquiring the top spot in the MLS allocation order in a trade with the Chicago Fire during the 2016 SuperDraft – giving them first priority to sign any player listed on the league’s Allocation Ranking List.
The rumours were further stoked earlier this week when the club traded first-choice keeper Clint Irwin to Toronto FC, following which vice president of soccer operations Paul Bravo declined to comment on whether plans were being made to bring in a new No. 1.
Howard himself has reiterated on several occasions that he plans to remain at Goodison Park until his contract expires in 2018, but manager Roberto Martinez recently admitted that it was “impossible to say” whether the 36-year-old would remain with the club next season.
Keller returned to the States from Europe in 2008 to see out the final three years of his career with the Seattle Sounders, and having also seen compatriots Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey lured back to MLS since 2013, he believes his former USA teammate could be tempted to follow suit.
“I think it’s up to Tim to see if he wants to continue in the Premier League for a few more years,” Keller told ESPN FC. “He has a couple of years left on his contract, but at the same time we’ve seen Clint Dempsey come back, Michael Bradley come back and Jozy Altidore come back.
“If this is a point in time for Tim Howard to come back and play two or three more years at the end of his career, I understand that. I did it myself and it makes a lot of sense for Tim to come back at this time when he still has a lot to offer a team – and it sounds like Colorado are trying to make it happen.”
Howard began his professional career with his hometown Metrostars in 1998, going on to make 85 regular season appearances for the MLS club before securing a £2.3 million move to Manchester United in 2003.
However, the 106-times capped American failed to keep hold of the No. 1 job following his debut season at Old Trafford and later joined Everton in 2006 on an initial loan deal which was made permanent midway through the 2006-07 campaign.
He has since featured over 400 times for the Toffees, but his form over the past 18 months has come in for considerable criticism from both fans and the media, leading to on-going suggestions that he could lose his starting place to Joel Robles.