TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
Atlanta United have acquired center back Alan Franco from Argentine side Independiente, the club announced Thursday. He has signed a five year contract.
Franco will be added to the roster as a Designated Player. The club already had three DPs, though a source told MLSsoccer.com it's likely Marcelino Moreno's contract will be bought down with Targeted Allocation Money.
“Alan is a competitive and aggressive center back who is comfortable with the ball at his feet,” VP and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said in a club statement. “He has established himself with more than 80 matches in Argentina’s top flight, in addition to experience in Copa Sudamericana and Copa Libertadores. We’re looking forward to further integrating him with the group and getting him match ready.”
Franco, 24, has one cap with the Argentine national team. He had been with Independiente since 2017, making 121 career appearances with the club. During his time with the club, he won Copa Sudamericana alongside new Atlanta teammate Ezequiel Barco, as the pair reunite in MLS.
The move ends Atlanta's offseason search for another center back, with Franco likely slotting into Atlanta's strongest XI alongside Miles Robinson.
Franco is the latest addition in a busy winter for Atlanta. They appointed Gabriel Heinze head coach and have added the likes of Santiago Sosa, Franco Ibarra, Lisandro Lopez and others as they look to rebound from a disappointing 2020 campaign.
Atlanta's competitive season is already underway, having beat Alajuelense in leg one of the Concacaf Champions League 1-0. They kick off their MLS campaign next weekend against Orlando City SC (3 pm ET | UniMas, TUDN).