Bale confirms MLS transfer to LAFC after Real Madrid departure

The 32-year-old Welsh winger is heading to California after leaving Madrid as a free agent this summer.

Former Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has confirmed that he is heading to MLS on a free transfer to Los Angeles FC.

Bale, 32, is LAFC’s second high-profile arrival this summer after Giorgio Chiellini chose the club after bidding farewell to Juventus.

He arrives in the United States to huge fanfare and still with plenty to offer after nine years at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Bale’s contract is reportedly for one year, and he has been added on a Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) deal.

Financial terms have yet to be revealed.

On Saturday evening the ex-Tottenham and Madrid ace released a video on his Twitter account announcing his imminent switch.

“See you soon, Los Angeles,” he vowed while posing in the club’s black shirt.

Prior to confirmation of the transfer, LAFC’s 3252 Supporters Union president Kristian Garcia affirmed that landing the superstar represented a massive coup for the club.

“We are all very excited, we weren’t necessarily expecting it but transfer windows have the added excitement that you never know what’s going to happen so it’s definitely exciting to have someone of Bale’s calibre and we are excited to welcome him to Los Angeles,” Garcia told Sky Sports.

“I think a player of Gareth Bale’s gravity speaks for itself, he’s played for the biggest teams, he’s a current Champions League winner, he’s won it five times, he’s played in the biggest games, and he’s delivered in the biggest games.

“A player of that calibre is known around the world and we are absolutely excited to welcome him here.”

MLS, or indeed its two-team Los Angeles contingent, is no stranger to blockbuster signings.

Stars like David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have represented LAFC’s rivals Galaxy in past seasons, while across the league the likes of Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba, Kaka and Thierry Henry to name a few have played stateside.

There is a strong argument, though, to place Bale at the head of the list as the most important signing ever made in the league.

While most of the stars listed above headed to MLS in the twilight of their career Bale does so in his prime aged 32 and fresh off sealing Wales’ first World Cup spot in 1958.

His time at Madrid may have ended under something of a shadow, making just seven appearances during the 2021-22 season, but at his best he remains one of the world’s premier attacking players, and few footballers can boast five Champions League medals to their name.

Indeed, Bale’s performances for Wales in taking them to Qatar showed that he can still turn it on when needed, scoring two goals to take down Austria and then a decisive free-kick in the play-off final against Ukraine.

“The Bale signing is another significant coup for LAFC, who continue to game roster rules to build an MLS super team.

After already bringing in the legendary Chiellini on a TAM deal, LAFC now add the champions league-winning Welsh star to a team that already had legitimate MLS Cup hopes.

Bale still has plenty left to offer, even if his time at Real Madrid ended in frustrating fashion, and, even if he’s half his best, the former Spurs star should be able to terrorize almost any MLS defense.

It’s now MLS Cup or bust for LAFC, and it’s also a big chance for Bale to show just how good he is while building toward the World Cup.