Argentine club Independiente bid farewell to 18-year-old midfield star Ezequiel Barco
, signaling that it had reached an agreement with Atlanta United for his transfer.
Citing sources, ESPN reported
Independiente agreed to sell Barco for $15 million --
which would shatter the record for an MLS transfer fee -- plus 30 percent of any future transfer before Dec. 2019, or 10 percent if Atlanta United sells him after that.
kick gave Independiente a 1-1 tie against Brazil's Flamengo at Maracana Stadium that clinched the 2017 Copa Sudamericana title, 3-2, on aggregate in the final.
Independiente was a giant
of Argentine and South American soccer in the 1960s and 1970s but only now enjoying a resurgence.
Independiente sent Barco a farewell message: "You came here a boy, you grew up in the
pension and you leave a champion. Everything can happen, but glory is eternal. Thanks and the best of luck, Ezequiel!"
The usaul path for South American youth players with "potential" is through the Dutch league as a stepping stone to big Euro-clubs. Tata must have been a big influence on Barco's decision. Barco better get ready for a tough physical experience in the MLS.