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Minnesota United to buy out centerback Vadim Demidov

Minnesota United defender Vadim Demidov challenges Atlanta United forward Kenwyne Jones at TCF Bank Stadium. (Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY Sports)

With time winding down to Thursday’s roster compliance deadline, Minnesota United FC reportedly reached an agreement to buy out the contract of centerback Vadim Demidov.

The timing of the buyout allows the Loons to free up $550,000 in cap space and an international roster slot ahead of the 2018 season opener Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes.

According to a report by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, MNUFC is expected to make a formal announcement Wednesday confirming the buyout of its former captain.

Demidov, 31, carried Minnesota’s highest salary in 2017 after being signed on a free transfer involving Targeted Allocation Money. The Norwegian international spent 2016 with SK Brann in the Norwegian first division, and his previous Bundesliga and La Liga experience was touted when he made his move stateside.

Named team captain ahead of the Loons’ inaugural MLS campaign, Demidov ended up logging only 270 minutes for the team. In the three games he played against Portland, Atlanta and New England, the Loons conceded an alarming 16 goals.

By midseason, Demidov no longer travelled with the team to away games. Rumors linked Demidov to several clubs back in Europe, but Minnesota was unable to find a destination for the defender during the summer transfer window. A buyout agreement would close a disappointing chapter for both team and player.

Minnesota United is expected to make additional moves ahead of Thursday’s deadline as well. The club has 10 international players under contract and only eight intentional slots for the coming season.

Winger José Leitón, acquired in August on loan from Costa Rican side Club Sport Herediano, has been absent from preseason training. He’s a likely candidate to leave, with the original term of his loan set to expire in July.

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