Min­ne­so­ta Unit­ed is near­ing a new con­tract a­gree­ment with vet­er­an de­fend­er Romain Metanire, the 30-year-old right back who was the team's lone rep­re­sen­ta­tive at last sum­mer's MLS All-Star Game.

Coach A­dri­an Heath called ne­go­tia­tions "very, very close" con­cern­ing a play­er signed in Jan­u­ar­y 2019 af­ter he helped his French team get pro­mot­ed from the se­cond di­vi­sion in its league to the first.

"He has been out­stand­ing," Heath said by tele­phone from Or­lan­do, where his team is train­ing for the "MLS is Back" tour­na­ment that starts with two games Wednes­day.

"We're hope­ful we can come to terms on some­thing that re­flects what he has done since he has been here. He has been ex­cel­lent on and off the field, huge­ly popu­lar with his teammates, staff, sup­port­ers. Hope­ful­ly, it'll be a nice re­ward."

The Loons didn't make any moves dur­ing a fleet­ing two-day MLS trans­fer win­dow that end­ed Tues­day, but Heath said the team is poised to add pos­si­bly two play­ers when a 2½-month trans­fer win­dow be­gins Aug. 12, one day af­ter the MLS is Back tour­na­ment fi­nal is played.

One could be add­ing Ar­gen­tine at­tack­ing mid­field­er Emanuel Rey­no­so, whom the Loons have pur­sued to fill their third de­sig­nat­ed play­er slot since last win­ter.

"That's nev­er stopped re­al­ly," said Heath, who called Rey­no­so "one of a few play­ers out there" that his team could add if/when the MLS regu­lar sea­son re­sumes in late Au­gust or Sep­tem­ber with teams play­ing in their home mar­kets.

He said the team could cre­ate two de­sig­nat­ed play­er slots by buy­ing out one of their two cur­rent DPs — vet­er­an Jan Gregus or teen­ag­er Thom­as Chacon — but won't like­ly do that.

He said one play­er might fill that third and last DP slot and the oth­er would be signed with targeted allocated mon­ey (TAM).

"We're still in the ne­go­ti­a­tion stage," Heath said. "I'm hope­ful."

Opara up­date

Heath said 2019 MLS De­fend­er of the Year Ike Opara con­tinues to re­hab in Min­ne­so­ta, where he re­mained when his teammates flew Sun­day to Or­lan­do to train for the tour­na­ment.

He said the team is "still a few weeks away from get­ting him avail­able."

When asked if Opara could join the team and play if the Loons ad­vance from group play to the knock­out rounds, Heath said, "I don't know more. It's more day to day. We'll have to wait and see what we can do."

Opara last week tweet­ed he was doing "phys­ic­al re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion on a pre-ex­ist­ed con­di­tion" that kept him home.

Min­ne­so­ta Unit­ed plays its first Group D game Sun­day against Sport­ing Kan­sas City at 7 p.m.