Portland Timbers complete signing of Sebastian Blanco as designated player
The Portland Timbers completed the signing of winger Sebastian Blanco as a designated player on Thursday.
Blanco, 28, moves to MLS from Argentine club San Lorenzo despite interest from Mexico's Club America and Turkey's Fenerbahce, and Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson said the transfer was not easy to accomplish.
"Sebastian Blanco is a talented player we have been aware of and tracked for quite some time," Wilkinson said. "To say the process of acquiring him was complex is an understatement, and we are delighted to confirm the transfer and that he wanted Portland to be his new home."
Sources told ESPN FC on Wednesday that Portland will pay a transfer fee of around $4 million and that Blanco will earn about $1.3 million a year.
Blanco spent two years with San Lorenzo, scoring 12 goals in 84 appearances in all competitions.
He previously played for Lanus before moving to Europe with Ukrainian club Metalist Kharkiv in 2011. He moved the Premier League in 2014, spending a seaon with West Brom before returning to Argentina.
"An attacking player that will increase our production from wide positions was a top priority this offseason, and we're very pleased to sign a difference-maker like Sebastián Blanco," coach Caleb Porter said. "He is a technical, two-footed player that will bring quality service and final passing, and he has produced goals playing either wing. His work rate on both sides of the ball was also very important.
"We project Blanco to play on the right side, but he is also effective on the left or at the No. 10, which gives us tactical flexibility if need be."
Blanco is a full Argentina international, earning one cap each in 2009 and 2010.
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