Mere days before the current international transfer window closes, Minnesota United is making its boldest move yet in a season already filled with change.
It is finalizing a multiyear deal with a multimillion dollar transfer fee to bring 18-year-old Uruguayan midfielder Thomas Chacon to Minnesota from Danubio FC club in his homeland’s top league.
The transaction will be finalized by Friday’s close of the transfer window, two people with knowledge of the negotiations said.
United has made deals on the international market to bring in designated players Darwin Quintero, Angelo Rodriguez and Jan Gregus the past two seasons, but Chacon’s arrival will be its biggest investment yet in a designated player. That classification allows the player’s salary outside his team’s salary cap.
To make room for Chacon, United will use allocation money it has accumulated to buy down Rodriguez’s $667,188 guaranteed- compensation salary and transfer his designated-player slot to Chacon.
The Loons also probably will trade some more allocation money to a team with a spare international player slot United currently doesn’t have but needs to add Chacon.
Once Chacon signs, he will likely become an attacking central midfielder who will play behind Quintero. Chacon could be eligible to play a game for United by month’s end.
Ideally, he would become Quintero’s successor at that position because of his motor, his skills with the ball and his instincts about when — and when not — to play the ball even though he stands but 5-5. Chacon turns 19 this month.
Quintero, 31, currently is by far United’s highest-paid player, at a $1.75 million salary.
Chacon has played for Uruguay’s national team at every age level and has played since 2017 for Danubio, a team that has sent several players — including 2010 World Cup Golden Ball winner Diego Forlan and Paris St.-Germain striker Edinson Cavani — through its system to international acclaim.