Transfer Tracker

Report: At last, Atlanta United move for Ezequiel Barco nearly complete

Ezequiel Barco - celebrates a goal for Independiente


Just a few days after Atlanta United and Argentine club Independiente appeared to have reached an impasse, a deal for highly touted teenager Ezequiel Barco is "imminent", according to the latest reporting out of Argentina.

Buenos Aires-based journalist Hernan Sisto on Friday Tweeted that the basic framework for a deal had been reached. Independiente, one of Argentina's Big Five clubs, would sell 70 percent of Barco's rights to Atlanta for $15 million while retaining the remaining 30 percent. Sisto did not elaborate on any potential bonus money involved in the transaction.

Ole reporter Fabian Rodriguez confirmed that report on Saturday, adding that there are no additional incentives that would raise the transfer fee. 

This comes a few days after Argentine publication Clarin reported Independiente had rejected a second bid by Atlanta for Barco, an 18-year-old midfielder who helped El Rojo to the 2017 Copa Sudamericana championship. That appeared to anger Barco himself, who for some time has appeared in favor of an MLS move.

That bid was said to include $14 million up front, $3 million in performance-based bonus payments and 30 percent of any future sale before the close of 2019. Barco could be a prime target of major European clubs if he seizes the spotlight for Argentina the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, as many observers expect.

It's unclear whether the latest terms outliend by Sisto have changed substantially, or if the if Barco's displeasure perhaps lowered Independiente's asking price.