The 25-year-old US international centre-back could reportedly join the Welsh club on loan in January for the rest of the MLS offseason.
Swansea City manager Bob Bradley is looking to bolster his side’s leaky backline by signing D.C. United defender and fellow American Steve Birnbaum on a short-term loan deal in January, according to the Daily Star.
Birnbaum, 25, was drafted second overall by United in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft following a five-year career at the University of California and has since made 69 regular season appearances for the club, recording five goals and two assists in the process.
Having firmly established himself as one of the league’s top centre-backs, the 6ft 2in stopper has helped Ben Olsen’s side reach the playoffs every year he has been at RFK Stadium and has also earned nine USA caps since making his senior international debut back in January 2015, scoring once.
His impressive performances at both the club and international level have unsurprisingly led to suggestions that he could make a move overseas in the near future, and reports over the summer claimed that Israeli giants Maccabi Tel Aviv had seen two bids rejected for the California native [h/t The Washington Post].
Bundesliga side Werder Bremen have also allegedly expressed interested in signing the one-time MLS All-Star in the January transfer window [h/t FourFourTwo USA], but the Daily Star now suggests that he could be heading to the Liberty Stadium instead.
Swansea’s defence has struggled badly this season following the sale of Ashley Williams to Everton in the summer, conceding 26 goals in 13 Premier League games, and the Welsh club sit 19th in the table with just nine points despite last weekend’s dramatic 5-4 home win over Crystal Palace.
Bradley, who replaced Francesco Guidolin in charge early last month, is reportedly desperate to bring in reinforcements over the winter to help shore things up at the back and is said to have United’s Birnbaum at the top of his wishlist.
D.C. and Swansea share a co-owner in Jason Levien and the relationship between the two clubs means the US international could be allowed to make a short-term loan move to South Wales during the MLS offseason.
Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler is believed to be another potential target for Bradley as the former US head coach scours his homeland for possible bargain signings, but Birnbaum would stand out as the better option of the pair based on his form over the course of the 2016 season.
As well as being one of the most dominant aerial presences in MLS, the sturdy centre-half is comfortable with the ball at his feet and has shown the versatility to play anywhere across the backline since turning professional.
Maccabi Tel Aviv were reported to have lodged a bid of around £1 million for his signature back in August, and with the D.C. star about to enter the final year of his contract, it is certainly possible that Bradley could eventually try to sign him on a permanent deal if he impresses during an initial loan stint.