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Gareth Bale to join Los Angeles FC; club hope for “long-term partnership”

The Pro Soccer Talk team discuss the 2022-23 Premier League schedule, share what they'll be watching for this season and talk about how the mid-season World Cup could impact the league.

Gareth Bale has signed a contract with Los Angeles FC in Major League Soccer.

Bale, 32, will become a free agent as he will leave Real Madrid when his contract expires on June 30, 2022.

According to an initial report from Tom Bogert, the Welsh superstar has already signed the majority of his contract with LAFC and will head to MLS on an initial one-year contract and won’t be a Designated Player.

Bale then confirmed the move on his own social media account, as he shared a video of himself in an LAFC hat with the message: “See you soon, Los Angeles!”

Is this a good move for all?

Gareth Bale will captain the Welsh national team at the World Cup as they face the USMNT, England and Iran in Group B and he needed to play regularly after spending a season sitting on the bench at Real Madrid.

He will play regularly in MLS for LAFC and that is good news for Wales as they aim to have Bale at peak fitness for the World Cup group stage. Some will say he should have stayed in Europe but Bale craved regular minutes and it was difficult to see where he would get that in a top six team in the Premier League.

As we’ve seen on the international stage and when he was on loan at Tottenham (in spells), Bale still has plenty to offer when he’s fit and in form. He’s won the UEFA Champions League five times at Real and even though he’s been out of favor with the reigning European champs in recent seasons, his quality is undoubted.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

This move works out perfectly for Bale as he will play regularly for LAFC between now and November when the World Cup begins and it works out great for MLS and LAFC as they get another superstar to help the profile of the league continue to grow.

This is a win-win-win-win scenario for all involved as Bale will now line up alongside Carlos Vela and Giorgio Chiellini as LAFC go all-out for their first MLS Cup title.

What has the reaction been to Bale’s arrival?

LAFC General Manager John Thorrington spoke at length about the deal following their 2-0 win against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday and is very excited to welcome Gareth Bale to Los Angeles. He revealed that Bale will arrive in early July and get up and running and could make his debut against the LA Galaxy in ‘El Trafico’ on July 8 at Banc of California Stadium.

Thorrington also explained that LAFC would like Bale to stay with them for multiple years in a ‘long-term partnership’ and even had a bit of banter as he said they aim to have him at peak condition for just after the USMNT’s World Cup opener against Wales in Qatar.

“I’d love to get into specifics but, as policy, I don’t. What I can tell you is that LAFC and Gareth are hoping that this is a long-term partnership and step for Gareth and his family,” Thorrington said. “It was never about six months just for the World Cup. We were always talking about longer term than that. That was very clear from Gareth and his representative. Obviously we expect him to be a top, top player for us and in this league, but we will do so sensibly.
“When Gareth is looking at what he needs to do, his priority will be at LAFC, we are absolutely sure of that, but we’re not naive to the fact that he, like some other players of ours, have a World Cup on the horizon.”

Bale heading to LAFC has dominated talk in American soccer circles as the California club have all of a sudden become very similar to their local rivals LA Galaxy as they’ve signed Bale and Giorgio Chiellini over the last few weeks.

That isn’t a bad thing at all because if these players are available, their quality and experience can only be a positive as LAFC chase an MLS Cup trophy.

Steve Cherundolo currently has them top of the Western Conference and they will have Bale and Chiellini arriving for the second half of the season.