Portland Timbers sign Sebastian Blanco from San Lorenzo - sources
The Portland Timbers have signed midfielder Sebastian Blanco from Argentine club San Lorenzo, multiple league sources told ESPN FC.
While various reports out of Argentina have indicated that the transfer fee is $5 million, multiple sources told ESPN FC that the fee is closer to $4 million and that Blanco has signed a designated player contract that will pay him an annual salary of around $1.3 million.
Blanco only needs to pass a physical and receive his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) as well as a visa in order to suit up for the Timbers.
The deal concludes a months-long pursuit of the Argentine midfielder, with negotiations accelerating throughout the month of January as Portland fought off the attentions of Liga MX side Club America and Turkish side Fenerbahce.
Blanco flew to Portland today and will join team in Tuscon, Arizona tomorrow.
With Portland loaning out Lucas Melano to Argentine side Atletico Belgrano, Blanco is expected to slot into an advanced midfield trio in manager Caleb Porter's 4-2-3-1 that includes countryman Diego Valeri and U.S. international Darlington Nagbe.
Blanco, 28, made his breakthrough with Argentine side Lanus in 2006 before moving to Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv in 2010.
Blanco was sold to West Bromwich Albion prior to the 2014-15 season, but failed to make much of an impact, making just five league and cup appearances with no goals. Blanco moved back to Argentina in 2015, and rebuilt his career with San Lorenzo.
All told, Blanco has made 285 league and cup appearances, scoring 42 goals. At international level, Blanco has made two appearances for Argentina, scoring one goal.
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.