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The inside track on Gareth Bale’s transfer to Los Angeles FC

27 Jun 2022 4 minute read
Gareth Bale as a LAFC player

When Gareth Bale put an end to a transfer saga that had rumbled on for several weeks, choosing the MLS as his next destination, it sent shockwaves through football.

High-flying MLS club Los Angeles FC was ultimately the Welsh superstar’s number one choice after spending time mulling over the several offers that were on the table.

The story of how Bale swapped Madrid for the MLS includes details of how:

– Los Angeles FC received a text minutes after the final whistle of the Wales-Ukraine game which read ‘Can we talk about Gareth Bale?’

– There were four or five serious offers for the Welshman, from clubs including Cardiff City, DC United and LA.

–  Discussions about a move to the Bluebirds progressed before Bale chose to personally convey his decision to move to the MLS to those at Cardiff.

– The pull of playing in Los Angeles was too much, with the Welshman intrigued by the opportunities that lay in the USA.

– Wales fans will be thrilled at the heightened prospect of Bale playing on at least until Euro 2024

Gareth Bale confirms his move on Twitter

Speaking to The Athletic, LAFC’s co-president John Thorrington, revealed how he had received a text from Bale’s agent minutes after the Wales- Ukraine game had ended, setting in motion a transfer that has captured the imagination Stateside

“Did I think, coming into the year, ‘let’s set aside money to sign Gareth Bale?’. No, that was not in my plans,” Thorrington. “But I did tell our ownership there will be these moments for opportunism and that we need to be in a position to strike.”

According to the sports website, Bale will be paid no more than $1.6125 million (£1.3 million) in a deal that also includes an 18-month option which if triggered next summer would see an increase in the player’s salary, making him a designated player.

Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett revealed how they had “four or five serious offers” for him.

“It could have been more but we narrowed the field for him — he wasn’t going to Italy or Spain, for example,” Barnett said.

‘Different level’

Cardiff City were certainly in the running – and out of respect to his hometown club Bale chose to inform the Bluebirds of his decision personally.

Ultimately however, the pull of playing regularly, gaining fitness ahead of the World Cup in a league that is on the up, for a club that is top of the table intrigued Bale, who was said to be excited about the opportunities to be experienced in a different country.

“I can’t offer Gareth European Champions League football, I can’t offer him the (Champions League) trophy he lifted for the fifth time, the economic package a Champions League club or Premier League club can offer him,” Thorrington said of how he sold the deal to Bale.

“What we can offer a player like him is a unique opportunity to come and do something different.

“Not just on the field — and that’s the focus — but also off the field, there is real momentum with where this league is going with the World Cup coming here (in 2026). He saw this opportunity to make a real difference.”

The move will certainly raise the profile and boost the viewing figures of the MLS globally.

“It’s exciting and I knew it would be big, but this is a different level,” said LAFC’s co-president.

“The soccer world is pretty quiet right now, and so it’s got every ounce of attention,” he added. “It’s been a whirlwind ever since the news came out.”

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Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
1 year ago

Yeah fine, whatever. I’m interested in what he does in and for the red jersey. For his Welsh aspirations I see this as a mistake. Although I’m admittedly not an expert. (But the optics are clearly that he / his agent led Cardiff fans on. Less of a problem for you if you are not a Cardiff fan. Bit of a betrayal if you are. There would have been no problem if he’d just courted US clubs from the start) For his bank account definitely the right decision. Hopefully this criticism of Bale won’t drive one of the poster-“moderators” into… Read more »

Brian Thomas
Brian Thomas
1 year ago

Gareth BALE has made the right decision. I don’t know what went on behind the scenes if he led Cardiff on or not but he has to look at the best options for him in readiness for the World Cup. Fitness, training and climate preparations are there in LA which are something similar to Qatar. So definitely made the right choice and is best for CYMRU.

1 year ago

“(But the optics are clearly that he / his agent led Cardiff fans on…. Bit of a betrayal if you are.)” I don’t understand this view unless he was never coming to Cardiff, but that’s not what the article or anyone involved has suggested. MLS is as competitive if not more competitive than the Championship and runs from February/early March to October-December – perfect for World Cup and, fingers crossed, Euros ’24 qualification. The biggest issue from a Welsh perspective is: I) Commute back to Wales just got a lot longer, ii) Bale, a player who has never shown interest… Read more »

Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
1 year ago
Reply to  George

The article could well be firefighting though. I didn’t think anyone believed press releases any more. They are about PR not about what actually went on. That said, it could still be truthful. Either way, a good friend is a regular on the CCFC fan forums and they as a group are definitely not happy. They felt they were led on. So pretty much loads of people are suggesting what I have stated. I hope that helps you understand what I said. But just to reiterate, I have no gripe with Bale. I simply think he has made a mistake… Read more »

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