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Jefferson Mena heading on loan to Ecuadorian side Barcelona SC

The defender doesn’t appear to be a part of Patrick Vieira’s plans.

Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

UPDATE: New York City FC and MLS have now confirmed the deal.

At least for now, NYCFC defender Jefferson Mena is heading back to South America.

The fleet-footed Colombian has signed on for a loan spell with Ecuadorian side Barcelona SC. The deal is reported to be for one year with an option to buy.

Since arriving on a transfer from Independiente Medellin in summer 2015, Mena has played 1903 minutes across 23 appearances for New York City. The player was never in particular favor with Patrick Vieira, with the mid-2016 signing of Maxime Chanot signalling that the club had other plans for its central defense.

With a reported salary of $231,400 last season, the loan deal frees up a healthy chunk of salary for what promises to be a busy winter window for NYCFC.