(Reuters) – Wales forward Gareth Bale is finalising a deal to join Major League Soccer (MLS) side Los Angeles FC following his departure from LaLiga champions Real Madrid, a report on the American league’s official website said on Saturday, citing sources.
The 32-year-old, who signed for Spanish giants Real from English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in 2013 for a then-record transfer fee of 100 million euros ($105.54 million), will join as a free agent with his contract set to end this summer.
Bale enjoyed a trophy-laden spell with Real, winning three LaLiga titles, five Champions League crowns, three Club World Cups and the Spanish Cup, although his time at the club was marred by injuries.
The Welshman will be best remembered for scoring twice, including a stunning overhead kick, in the 2018 Champions League final against Liverpool and also netting a superb winner against Barcelona in the 2014 Copa del Rey final.
But he was also often targeted by the Spanish media, who labelled him a “parasite” after he missed Real’s 4-0 home loss to Barcelona in March, and he was jeered by some fans during a league game in April.
Bale led Wales to a first World Cup since 1958 as they beat Ukraine 1-0 in their playoff in Cardiff earlier this month.
LAFC recently signed Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini after his departure from Juventus.
The secondary transfer window in the U.S. opens on July 7, with the report adding Bale and Chiellini could make their debuts against local rivals LA Galaxy the following day.
($1 = 0.9475 euros)
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)