Minnesota United have signed French fullback Romain Metanire from Ligue 1’s Stade Reims using Targeted Allocation Money, the team announced Friday, pending a physical and receipt of his P1 Visa and ITC. Metanire will occupy an international spot.

Metanire, 28, currently plays for Stade Reims, who sit 12th in Ligue 1. He has made 61 appearances for the club since joining in 2016 and helping them earn promotion. He used to play for FC Metz in Ligue 2, where he made 136 appearances.

“Romain is an experienced player and we have the mindset of bringing in players who can come in and compete for a spot straight away,” MNUFC coach Adrian Heath said in a statement. “He’s been playing a really good standard in France. He’s very athletic, he can play in both halves of the field; great at defending but good at going forward as well.”

Metanire was born in France and is of Malagasy decent. He was called up to the Madagascar national team in 2018 and has made three appearances since, including his debut in a 2-2 draw with Senegal during 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifying. Metanire will be the first Malagasy player to play in Major League Soccer.

The Loons have already added defensive midfielders Jan Gregus and Ozzie Alonso this offseason to bolster the defensive unit.