Atlanta United agrees MLS-record deal for Ezequiel Barco – sources
Independiente has reached an agreement in principle to send 18-year-old Ezequiel Barco to Major League Soccer side Atlanta United, sources have told ESPN Argentina’s Alejandro Ruzal.
The Argentine club has agreed to sell the budding star for a $15 million plus 30 percent of any future transfer before December of 2019, according to sources — which would be an MLS record.
It would smash the $10 million fee that Toronto FC paid Roma for Michael Bradley in 2013. Only a year ago, Atlanta also spent about $8.5 million to acquire Paraguayan standout Miguel Almiron from another Argentina club, Lanus.
The fee would also be the second-largest transfer fee for Independiente after the deal that sent Sergio Aguero to Atletico Madrid in 2006.
Barco, who was under contract with Independiente until June 2019, helped his club win the Copa Sudamericana — South America’s second largest international tournament — by scoring a penalty in the second leg of the final against Flamengo in December.
Reports of the deal have been swirling for weeks, with an Independiente vice president saying Barco wouldn’t be sold for less than $20 million and Atlanta staying firm on a $12 million offer, but a compromise has now been reached.
Sources said the deal also has a provision that Independiente would receive 10 percent of any future transfer of the player if he leaves Atlanta after 2019.
Neither club has yet to confirm the deal.
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