According to a story on SI.com, the Portland Timbers signed 22-year-old Argentine striker Lucas Melano from Club Athletico Lanus for a franchise-record transfer fee of $5,000,000. Melano signed a four year designated player contract with the club, SI says, for $1,000,000 a year.
The signing has been rumored for some time and has seemed downright inevitable over the last several days with team owner tweeting today that the Timbers should make their announcement tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m.
The Timbers reportedly used the new "Targeted Allocation Money" announced by MLS last week to pay down the salary of Fanendo Adi below the maximum, freeing up a designated player slot for Melano. The signing leaves Melano, Diego Valeri, and Liam Ridgewell as the Timbers' three designated players.
A quick and skillful player, Melano is expected to slot in to any of the Timbers' four attacking spots, but has played the majority of his time recently as a lone striker or previously as a right winger.