Atlanta United reportedly signs Argentinian centerback

Atlanta United may finally have signed its long-wanted centerback.

Alan Franco, who played with Ezequiel Barco at Independiente in Argentina, will join the Five Stripes, according to journalist Matias Martinez.

Franco, 24, appeared 121 times for Independiente. He has appeared one time for Argentina’s national team. He is right-footed.

Martinez reports that the transfer is for $2.8 million, less than his estimated market value of $4.4 million, for 50 percent of the player’s rights. Should he appear 15 times for Atlanta United, the club must pay Independiente an additional $200,000. The kicker is that each year Atlanta United can buy more of a percentage of the remaining 50 percent of rights from Independiente. In effect, should he stay at Atlanta United for two years, and play well enough to be sold for a fee higher than the price Atlanta United paid for him, the club will retain a higher percentage of the revenues from the sale.

Atlanta United declined to comment.

The club was unsuccessful in its pursuits of Lautaro Giannetti, who failed a physical and returned to Velez Sarsfield, and Hector David Martinez, who chose to go to River Plate.