De Boer half-joked that hopefully Barco isn’t sold in July. The transfer window for leagues in Europe already is open.
“This tournament, every scout from every big club is there,” de Boer said. “If you look into the stands, 50 percent will be scouts.”
De Boer said his nephew is a scout for AZ Alkmaar, which finished fourth in the Dutch first division. He and another scout from the club were at Argentina’s first game. After Barco’s two goals, the second of which was a one-timed volley into the opposite corner, they graded him an “A.”
“If he does well and makes this kind of goal, I know a lot of clubs will look to him,” de Boer said.
Barco’s Atlanta United’s teammates were following the game against South Africa while on their plane ride back from Salt Lake on Saturday. Franco Escobar called Barco’s second goal a “golazo.”
“Surprising, but at the time it’s not,” Escobar said. “Because everyone knows his quality.”
If Barco continues to play well for Argentina, or with the club when he returns, and if Atlanta United receives an acceptable offer, it will be another piece of good business accomplished.
President Darren Eales and Carlos Bocanegra have said many times they want to buy young, inexpensive talent, help that talent develop, and then sell that player for profit as long as the situation is good for the player, Atlanta United and MLS.
The first big sale was Miguel Almiron, who was bought for a reported $9 million from Lanus in Argentina before the 2017, was an MVP candidate his first two seasons in MLS, and then sold to Newcastle in January for a fee that could reach as much as $27 million, according to reports.
Barco was purchased by Atlanta United from Independiente for a reported $15 million, at the time the biggest transfer in MLS history.
“Hopefully he goes not halfway into the season,” de Boer said. “But we can be proud we developed a player like Barco.”