Sport

Gareth Bale confirms Los Angeles FC move when Real contract expires

Gareth Bale has confirmed he is poised to join the Major League Soccer side Los Angeles FC when his contract with Real Madrid expires.

The five-time Champions League winner is soon to be a free agent and is looking for a new club ahead of playing for Wales at the World Cup finals tournament in Qatar, which starts in November.

Bale had been linked with a move to his hometown club Cardiff following the end of a nine-year stay at the Bernabéu, but the 32-year-old forward will now continue his career with a switch to the US.

The Wales captain confirmed his move to LAFC, who sit top of Major League Soccer’s Western Conference, via his official Twitter account. With a video of him in a club shirt and cap, Bale wrote: “See you soon, Los Angeles. @LAFC”

Bale is thought to have agreed an initial one-year deal, which includes the option of an 18-month contract extension, and he will join the former Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini as part of the LAFC squad.

Bale and Chiellini should complete their moves to MLS when the competition’s “secondary transfer windo” opens on 7 July, so would be cleared to make a debut against the LA Galaxy.

Last week Bale had excited Cardiff fans by visiting the Championship club’s Vale of Glamorgan base on their first day of pre-season training. Bale had fuelled speculation he might prefer being closer to home following comments that the standard of football he played before the World Cup finals tournament should not prove a decisive factor in any move.

It is understood Bale – reportedly having earned around £600,000 per week at Real Madrid – had several options on the table, with his former club Tottenham and big-spending Newcastle 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.”