Independiente has confirmed the exit of 18-year-old attacking midfielder Ezequiel Barco amid reports of a record-breaking move to Atlanta United.
The Major League Soccer side paid $15 million for the Argentine Under-20 international, according to ESPN, besting an MLS record that was set when Toronto FC spent $10 million for Michael Bradley in 2013.
Barco has impressed with Argentine power Independiente since joining the first team as a 17-year-old in 2016, and helped his club win the Copa Sudamericana in 2017 by scoring a penalty in the final against Flamengo.
Independiente sent a farewell message to the teenager on Twitter on Friday, saying: "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!"
Several European clubs were rumored to be after Barco, but Atlanta has reportedly completed the deal after a period of negotiations that spanned multiple months.
5 & 59 - Since his debut, no #Independiente player has assisted more goals or created more chances in league play than Ezequiel #Barco. Creator. pic.twitter.com/1hO8zBynUK — OptaJack (@OptaJack) January 12, 2018
Barco has scored five goals in 38 appearances in the Argentine Primera Division over the past two seasons, recording more assists and chances created than any other Independiente player in that span.