Fourteen years after leaving La Paternal, Lucas Barrios is back with Argentinos Juniors. In a transfer window that has already seen Carlos Tevez return to Boca Juniors, Vélez Sarsfield welcome back Mauro Zárate and River Plate break their transfer record for Lucas Pratto, Argentinos Juniors have got in on the act with the shock signing of Barrios.
The 33-year-old was last seen helping Grêmio to the Copa Libertadores title at the end of 2017 but after reportedly agreeing a deal with Junior to become the highest-paid player in Colombian football history, Barrios had a late change of heart and returned to the club where his professional career began.
Alfredo Berti’s side sit eleventh in the Superliga but remain in the relegation picture so the addition of Barrios will come as an enormous boost, particularly after selling Braian Romero to Independiente in this window.
— Argentinos Juniors (@AAAJoficial) January 11, 2018
Barrios signed a two-year deal with Los Bichos and while the Buenos Aires club boasted of a dream becoming reality, Colombian side Junior were left wondering what happened. Majority shareholder Fuad Char said, “We already had everything ready, but Lucas Barrios’ father-in-law called me to tell me that they have a huge family problem and he is going to play in Argentina.”
Char suggested that Barrios would still come in June but the Paraguayan international has already seemingly dismissed this on Argentinian television by stating that there is no family issue.
Despite playing for Paraguay, Barrios was born in San Fernando and began his professional career with Argentinos Juniors in 2003.
His illustrious career has taken in Colo Colo, Borussia Dortmund, Guangzhou Evergrande, Spartak Moscow, Palmeiras and Grêmio and after scoring 18 goals in 44 appearances before the Brazilian club lifted the Copa Libertadores, Barrios was the subject of a lot of interest.
Barrios will link up with his new teammates shortly for preseason and should provide the goal threat to steer Los Bichos to safety.