Los Angeles, Jun 27 (EFE).- Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles FC made it official Monday, signing Welsh star Gareth Bale to a one-year contract with an option for a second year after paying $75,000 to Inter Miami for Discovery Rights to the striker.
“I am extremely excited for this move to LAFC,” Bale said. “This is the right place for me and my family and the right time in my career, and I cannot wait to get started working with the team and getting ready to win more trophies in Los Angeles.”
The 32-year-old Wales captain is joining the current MLS leaders on a free transfer from Real Madrid, where he scored 97 goals in eight seasons and helped the Blancos to five Champions League trophies and three LaLiga titles.
“There are simply not many players in the world who can have an impact on a match like Gareth Bale,” LAFC coach Steve Cherundolo said.
The MLS created the Discovery List as a way for clubs to claim rights to sign players from outside the league.
Under MLS rules, if two different teams are interested in the same player, the one with fewer points in the standings takes precedence, but the higher-placed club can proceed with the signing contingent on a payment to the other club.
Bale announced his plans on Saturday, confirming a story published hours earlier by reporter Tom Bogert on the MLS website.
“See you soon, Los Angeles,” he said in a tweet accompanying a video of himself sporting LAFC gear.
Bale could make his debut for LAFC as soon as July 8 in a match against the rival Los Angeles Galaxy and can count on getting plenty of minutes throughout the remainder of the MLS regular season, which wraps up on Oct. 9.
The MLS Cup Final, if LAFC should get that far in the playoffs, is set for Nov. 5, more than two weeks before Bale needs to join his Wales teammates in Qatar for World Cup 2022.
News of Bale’s signing came on the heels of LAFC’s acquisition of defender Giorgio Chiellini, a veteran back-line stalwart for Juventus and the Italian national team. EFE am/dr