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Atlanta United completes MLS-record deal for Ezequiel Barco

Atlanta United completes MLS-record deal for Ezequiel Barco
From ESPN - January 19, 2018

Atlanta United completed the signing of18-year-old Ezequiel Barco from Argentina side Independiente, sealing the largest transfer in Major League Soccer history.

Sources told ESPN Argentina last week that Independiente had agreed to sell the budding star for an MLS-record $15 million, plus 30 percent of any future transfer before December 2019, or 10 percent if Atlanta sells Barco after that date.

And Atlanta announced it has completed the signing of Barco as a young designated player during Friday's MLS SuperDraft.

The transfer fee smashes the $10 million 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.

"It speaks to the type of club that we are becoming that Ezequiel chose to sign with our club over several European competitors," Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a statement. "As one of the top young players in South America who has been a fixture in the Argentinian youth national team setup, we are elated that he's decided to continue his career in Atlanta."

After reports of the completed deal broke a week ago, Independiente wrote a farewell tweet, saying: "You arrived as a kid. You grew in the youth team and you leave as a champion. Everything ends, glory is eternal. Thank you and success, Ezequiel!"

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