The protracted transfer saga of Ezequiel Barco’s move to Atlanta United appears to be drawing to a conclusion with the Independiente youngster moving to the ambitious MLS club for $15 million after an agreement was finally reached.
Independiente’s stalling and increasing of the price had frustrated Atlanta United, who had hoped to swiftly conclude a deal after the Copa Sudamericana final, but the transfer always remained likely given El Rojo’s financial situation.
With Ezequiel Barco not reporting for preseason training with the rest of the Independiente squad the two clubs have found a middle ground that will see the 18-year-old switch Avellaneda for Atlanta in return for $15 million.
A fee that will smash the MLS transfer record and see Barco as the second most expensive sale in Independiente history behind Sergio Agüero.
Part of the delay in negotiations aside from Independiente demanding around $20 million was the potential sell-on clause and it is reported that El Rojo will receive a significant 30% share of any future sale, should that happen before 2020. If Barco leaves Atlanta after this time, Independiente would receive 10% of the fee.
It is understood that Barco will now travel to the United States to complete the transfer and sign a five-year deal with Gerardo Martino’s side.
After helping Independiente to the Copa Sudamericana in December with the decisive penalty against Flamengo in the Maracaná, Barco solidified his reputation as one of the brightest prospects in world football so the transfer to Atlanta United is not only a major coup but a ground-breaking one for Major League Soccer.
Independiente will no doubt invest a fair amount of that money but manager Ariel Holan will also be eager to make more moves in the market ahead of an important year for the club back in the Copa Libertadores.