Updated: Fernando Meza joins Defensa y Justicia on loan

Update: Atlanta United have officially announced that Fernando Meza has joined Defensa y Justicia on loan.

“We appreciate Fernando’s commitment to the club over the last year and wish him well during his loan stint,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said.

Fernando Meza will leave Atlanta United to join Argentine club Defensa y Justicia this transfer window, according to a report from Cesar Luis Merlo Thursday night.

The contract appears to be a loan for a matter of months until midsummer. At that point, there will be an option for Defensa to keep the defender for the remainder of the calendar year.

Meza was rumored last week to have been offered to go out on loan to Argentine rivals San Lorenzo. But instead, he heads to a club that became entangled in a transfer saga that saw it lose prized center back Hector David Martinez to River Plate, leaving Atlanta United empty-handed.

The move likely frees up a good chunk of salary budget space — possibly including TAM — as well as an international roster spot.

This report comes on the heels of local reporting from The Athletic’s Felipe Cardenas that Atlanta is targeting one of Gabriel Heinze’s former center backs, Lautaro Giannetti.

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