Minnesota United agree fee with Leon for transfer of Miguel Ibarra - source
Minnesota United have agreed a fee with Liga MX club Leon for the transfer of former U.S. international Miguel Ibarra, a source close to the MLS expansion club has confirmed to ESPN FC.
The news was first reported by FiftyFive.One on Wednesday morning. The 26-year-old winger has yet to agree to a deal with the club, who will join North America's first division in March following six seasons in the NASL, but the agreement of a transfer fee comes as the second half of a deal United announced on Tuesday.
After selecting Real Salt Lake's Jeff Attinella in the fourth round of last week's expansion draft, Minnesota shipped the goalkeeper to the Portland Timbers in exchange for a second-round pick in January's SuperDraft. What was not announced in that deal, but had been reported by FiftyFive.One, was that included in the trade were the MLS rights to Ibarra.
Portland acquired Ibarra's MLS rights ahead of the 2016 season, but were unable to work out a deal with Leon, leaving the three-capped U.S. international with the Liga MX side, where he failed to make a single appearance in the Apertura tournament.
The deal sets in motion Ibarra's return to the club where he made his name. The University of California Irvine standout spent two-and-a-half seasons with Minnesota in its days in the NASL, where he was awarded the Golden Ball as the league's best player in 2014.
In October of that year, Ibarra was called up to the U.S. national team for the first time in his career. He would go on to make three appearances for the Americans.
Should Minnesota United and Ibarra come to terms on a contract, he would become the club's eighth signing ahead of its inaugural season.
Austin Lindberg is a general editor for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter at @LindbergESPN.