The 32-year-old Welsh superstar is set to join LAFC after he agreed to the terms offered by the MLS club. Gareth Bale will officially become a free agent on 1 July, when his deal with Real Madrid ends. LAFC will sign him at cost zero, given that he’s out of contract. Bale’s transfer is the second major move for the LA club this summer, after Italy and Juventus legend Giorgio Chiellini also joined on a free.

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale is a five-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid. (Image: twitter/noticiaaldia)

On Saturday evening, Bale posted a video on his Twitter account wearing an LAFC hat and jersey. “See you soon, Los Angeles”, Bale added as his caption, tagging the LAFC official account too. Before the club made it official, Chiellini posted a similar video last month.

Bale signed via a Targeted Allocation Money deal, just like Chiellini, meaning LAFC still has an open Designated Player spot.

According to mlssoccer.com, Bale will sign a one-year contract with LAFC. Despite his lack of playing time at Real Madrid over the past season, the attacker is undoubtedly one of the most exciting players to ever set foot in the MLS.

From the world’s most expensive player to fringe status at Real Madrid

Gareth Bale was the supreme star transfer of 2013 in world football, as Real Madrid paid $110.7 million to sign him from Tottenham Hotspur. Bale became the most expensive player in football history, beating then colleague Cristiano Ronaldo to the crown.

At Real, Bale won five Champions League trophies, four Club World Cups, three Spanish La Liga titles, and three Cups. He played an essential role in Real’s 3-1 win over Liverpool in the 2018 Champions League finals, scoring a brace to unlock the game and give Madrid the trophy. His career then took a U-turn, with injuries blocking him from reaching his best version. Bale was also blamed for his lack of involvement in training and official matches. The fans made no secret that he wasn’t a favorite anymore, often jeering at him during games.

Bale scored 106 goals in 258 appearances for Real Madrid, also contributing decisively with his assists to another 67 goals. Bale was capped 106 times for the Wales national team, scoring 38 times. He recently led the team to its first World Cup qualification in half a century after a playoff win over Ukraine, in Cardiff. Wales will be part of Group B at the Qatar 2022 final tournament, where they’ll play USMNT, England, and Iran.

Bale spent the 2020-21 season on loan at Tottenham, scoring 11 goals in 20 Premier League games. After his return, Carlo Ancelotti only played him on five occasions during the entire La Liga campaign. Bale only netted once in the 283 minutes he spent on the pitch in Spain’s domestic league.

He joins a team that tops the Supporters’ Shield table with 30 points in 15 games. LAFC will be able to use both Bale and Chiellini after 7 July, when the MLS Secondary Transfer Window opens. In theory, the star duo could play in El Trafico, the derby against LA Galaxy on 8 July.

At +475, LAFC is the bookies’ favorite to lift the MLS Cup this season. New York City FC follows at 700, while Philadelphia Union is third at +900.

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