Tim Howard, Colorado Rapids mutually interested in deal - sources

The Colorado Rapids' interest in Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard is mutual, with the U.S. international likely to arrive in the summer, multiple sources have told ESPN FC.

NBCSports.com earlier reported the state of the talks over Howard's future.

Colorado's interest in Howard first emerged earlier this month, and now sources have confirmed that Howard is indeed interested in returning to MLS.

One source with knowledge of the negotiations indicated that "discussions are ongoing and positive."

Howard signed a four-year contract with Everton in 2014 that lasts until 2018, but a source said his 10-year spell with the club makes it unlikely that MLS will need to pay a transfer fee in order to obtain his services.

In terms of salary, the source said Howard will earn between $2-3 million per year, making him easily the highest-paid goalkeeper in MLS. According to salary data from the 2015 season provided by the MLS Players Union, a salary of $2 million would put Howard in the top 15 of MLS salaries base of total compensation.

The Rapids acquired the top spot in the MLS allocation order from the Chicago Fire during the MLS SuperDraft, meaning that among MLS sides, they have the inside track to land Howard.

Howard is an iconic figure in U.S. soccer, especially after his epic performance in the 2014 World Cup, in which he delivered a 15-save effort in a round-of-16 defeat against Belgium. Howard has also been a mainstay for the Toffees, logging more than 400 appearances in all competitions.

But Howard has endured some shaky performances this season for Everton, and while he continues to have the faith of manager Roberto Martinez, fans have been vocal in their criticism of him and are calling for Joel Robles to be inserted into the lineup.

Colorado has been eager to increase its profile this offseason and had made acquiring a Mexico international and a U.S. counterpart a huge priority. The Rapids had previously been interested in acquiring U.S. international and Nantes midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, but Nantes declined to make Bedoya available during the current transfer window.

Howard played in the MLS for the MetroStars, the forerunner to the New York Red Bulls, from 1998 to 2003.

He then signed for Manchester United, where he was in and out of the lineup over the next four seasons because of inconsistent performances. He was loaned to Everton for the 2006-07 season, and his play was such that he made the move permanent in February 2007. Howard has been a fixture in the Everton lineup ever since.

Howard has appeared for the U.S. 106 times and represented the Americans at the 2006, 2010, and 2014 World Cups.