Gareth Bale agrees move to MLS side Los Angeles FC

Wales attacker will head to the United States after leaving Real Madrid

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Wales captain Gareth Bale is set to join Major League Soccer side Los Angeles FC on an initial one-year deal.

The 32-year-old is leaving Real Madrid this summer as a free agent after nine years in Spain when he won 16 major trophies, including five Champions Leagues, three La Ligas and one Copa del Rey.

Bale had been linked with a move to home town club Cardiff City but has instead agreed a move to the United States.

It is understood Bale – reportedly having earned around £600,000 per week at Real Madrid – had several options on the table, with former club Tottenham Hotspur and big-spending Newcastle United also suggested as potential destinations.

Speaking while on recent international duty with Wales, Bale said: “I don’t really know if the standard makes too much of a difference. A football game is a football game.

“I feel like I’ll never really lose my quality on the ball. I guess it’s a conversation to be had.

“I need time to think what’s the best move for me, my family, my kids, and hopefully we’ll sort that over the summer. I have options.”

Bale made only made seven appearances for Real last season and spoke recently about the need for games before the World Cup finals in Qatar that begin in November.

“​​I just want to be playing going into the World Cup to be as fit as I can,” he said. “Once I get back into playing regular football, my body will get more robust and a bit better.

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“It’s very difficult when you're in and out of a team to get a rhythm in terms of your fitness and health.

“Any player will tell you, playing week-in week-out, your body becomes more robust, you get used to it and you get fitter by doing that. I just need to play games and I’ll be good to go.”

Wales secured their place in Qatar after beating Ukraine 1-0, ending their 64-year wait for a place in the World Cup finals.

Bale produced the decisive moment with his 34th-minute free-kick headed into his own net by Andriy Yarmolenko.

He will be joined in Los Angeles by veteran Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini who left Juventus this summer having joined the Serie A giants in 2004.

The 37-year-old brought an 18-year international career with the Azzurri to a close in the defeat to Argentina at Wembley Stadium on June 1, finishing with 117 caps.

“I felt very strongly about this new chapter in my career and I am grateful to LAFC for this opportunity,” Chiellini said after signing.

“I'm thankful for all my years with Juventus and I'm looking forward to winning many more trophies in Los Angeles.”

Updated: June 25, 2022, 4:27 PM
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