Tata Martino is set to land a long-term target in Ezequiel Barco, with the Argentinian teenager from Independiente said to cost a record transfer fee of $15 million for a Major League Soccer franchise.
Barco, 18, helped Independiente win the Copa Sudamericana, scoring the wunning goal in the final against Flamengo.
Multiple reports say the deal also includes a 30 percent sell-on clause should Atlanta sell the player by 2019 and 10 percent if he’s sold in 2020. The deal is said to be the second largest in Independiente history after they sold Sergio Aguero to Atletico Madrid in 2006.
This transfer continues ATL’s philosophy of giving young, attack-minded South American players a chance to showcase their talents in MLS.
Atlanta also hold the second-highest MLS transfer fee record when they signed Miguel Almiron for $9.2 million, just behind the $10 million Toronto FC reportedly paid AS Roma for Michael Bradley.
Last season the trio of Almiron, Josef Martinez and Hector Villalba tore MLS defenses apart.
Judging by the video below, Barco will do the same in 2018 as he can play on the left or in a central attacking midfield role.
“We think we did everything in the last months to convince Leon to stay with us,” Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel said. “In the end, it wasn’t enough.”
Schalke had long been engaged in trying to get Goretzka to extend his contract, but was aware of reported interest from Bayern, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Liverpool.
“We’re very happy that Leon Goretzka, a German international with big potential, has decided in favor of Bayern despite big-name international competitors. This way it’s ensured that Leon Goretzka remains in the Bundesliga,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.
Goretzka scored 19 goals and set up 13 more in 130 appearances for Schalke.
The club had previously expressed its displeasure with Bayern making public statements about its player after Goretzka was praised by sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and coach Jupp Heynckes.
Heidel said “we don’t need to hear every day from the Munich people how good our player is.”
The most famous soccer player in the world had a scare last night as he was hospitalized in Brazil for “severe exhaustion.”
Pele, 77, was set to travel to London this weekend to be honored by the Football Writers Association, though it looks like that trip has now been postponed.
In the early hours of Thursday morning, Pele collapsed and was taken to a hospital in Brazil where he has undergone a series of tests which appear to point to severe exhaustion,” a FWA statement said. “He remains on fluids while doctors monitor his recovery.
“Thankfully, there is no suggestion of anything more serious than exhaustion.”
Cameron Carter-Vickers has a new club to call home for the next five months or so after a rough first half of the season.
Tottenham announced Friday morning that it had loaned the U.S. Men’s National Team centerback to Championship club Ipswich Town for the rest of the season. Carter-Vickers spent the first five months of the season at fellow Championship side Sheffield United, starting 17 times though he struggled recently as Sheffield won just one game he played in during the month of December, losing three and drawing one.
Carter-Vickers was then recalled earlier this week and now has a new home with a mid-table Championship club, with a new chance to impress. Hopefully Carter-Vickers can recover his form and continue to grow, potentially latching on to another Premier League side next year or breaking into the Tottenham first team.
There’s another interesting American tie-in to this. Carter-Vickers appears to be a short-term replacement for Ipswich Town’s Tommy Smith, who the club states is headed to join the Colorado Rapids ahead of the 2018 MLS season.
The player-swap/trade/transfer between Arsenal and Manchester United still appears to be heading towards completion, but it was further delayed Friday.
Multiple reports in England state that while Alexis Sanchez seems set to move to Manchester United, Henrik Mkhitaryan has yet to agree to move the other way, as talks between the player’s agent and Arsenal continue. Mkhitaryan was seen training at Manchester United’s practice facility on Friday, and because the latest delay, both players would be unable to debut for their new teams this weekend after missing the Premier League registration deadline.
Arsenal hosts Crystal Palace Manchester United travels to Burnley, both on Saturday at 10 a.m. (Watch Arsenal live on CNBC, Manchester United live on NBCSN, and both live on NBCSports.com)
The London Evening Standard reports that Mkhitaryan would command a $242,000-per-week salary but that as of Friday morning he had yet to undergo a medical for the transfer. Arsenal reportedly still wants a transfer fee included for Sanchez, while Manchester United would prefer to just swap the two players.
Am told Mkhitaryan yet to undergo #afc medical. Plus, he's been pictured at #mufc's training ground this morning so debut v Palace extremely unlikely. Means Sanchez will have to wait for #mufc debut too. Deal will happen, but source close to it says it may not happen today.
It’s also looking as if that won’t be Arsenal’s only business in the transfer market. While it seemed like a far-fetched rumor at first, the links between Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Arsenal have only grown stronger in the past few days, and the Gabon international appears to be in the Gunners sights. It appears that Bordeaux’s young striker Malcolm is now off the table.
No developments expected today on Sanchez/Mkhitaryan. Still work to do as currently Mkhitaryan deal hasn't moved on & could yet go either way. Arsenal hopeful on that + Aubameyang. Talks continue. Malcom off – meetings held but eventually deemed too inexperienced #AFC#MUFC#BVB