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Edison Flores expected in Washington this week to complete move to D.C. United

Edison Flores, left, has played for Mexico's Morelia the past 1 1/2 seasons. (Jorge Nunez/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Edison Flores, the Peruvian midfielder who is close to joining D.C. United on a multimillion dollar transfer from Morelia in Mexico, is expected in Washington this week to undergo a physical and complete the move, multiple people close to the negotiations said Monday.

United is planning to spend at least $5 million on the transfer fee and make Flores, 25, its second designated player. He and U.S. midfielder Paul Arriola are expected to be the team’s highest-paid players.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that United and Morelia had reached agreement in principle on the transfer, the largest in D.C. history. Barring complications, the MLS club should be able to announce the move by next week.

The Post reported last month that United has been targeting another Mexican-based attacker, Santos Laguna’s Brian Lozano, for a designated-player slot. But the asking price for the Uruguayan midfielder has become too high, a person familiar with the negotiations said Monday.

With Lozano seemingly out of reach, at least for the moment, the team has pivoted to finalizing deals with two European-based players. Their identities have not surfaced, but neither apparently would be a high-priced signing.

D.C. officials said they did not want to comment on the player search.

United is aiming to close multiple deals before training camp opens Jan. 18. The season opener is Feb. 29 against the Colorado Rapids at Audi Field.

The Athletic reported United is interested in Croatian superstar Luka Modric for a possible summer move.

D.C. began discussing the Real Madrid midfielder privately after the season ended and placed him on the same wish list that included Arsenal’s Mesut Özil, a German playmaker. There has been little or no progress on either front, said one person, who requested anonymity because the players are under contract elsewhere.

However, if United does not sign a third designated player before the season starts, it could decide to leave a roster slot — and salary cap space — open for a notable summer move, as it did in 2018, when English striker Wayne Rooney arrived midseason.

The financial commitment necessary for Özil, 31, or Modric, 34, probably would exceed Rooney’s numbers.

Loudoun United, the organization’s second-division team, will open the USL Championship season March 7 at Philadelphia and not make its Segra Field debut until May 6 against Charlotte, the league said in announcing the home openers for all 35 teams.

Construction of permanent restrooms and other utility work at the 5,000-seat venue in Leesburg will cause a late start to the home schedule. However, team officials have not ruled out playing the first home game in April.

The league is expected to announce the complete 34-game schedules in the coming weeks.

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