California > Cardiff
A move to Cardiff City was seemingly on the cards for Gareth Bale, but instead the 32-year-old has opted for a city which is currently 10 degrees warmer with around 11 more golf courses than the Welsh capital, according to Google's weather predictor and TripAdvisor.
Los Angeles. Oof. Who can blame him, and don’t go thinking this is just a six-month-long retirement party, either.
Haaland! Messi! Spurs! Man Utd… Football, football, everywhere – The Warm-Up
“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,” LAFC co-president John Thorrington said yesterday.
“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.”
Indeed, having already added Giorgio Chiellini to their ranks earlier this month, LAFC are eager to get their “Ferrari” up and running as soon as possible – perhaps as early as early July.
- Bale agrees shock transfer to MLS side LAFC
- Man Utd reject Barca’s attempt for a Maguire-De Jong swap deal – Paper Round
- Neymar considers PSG exit after comments by club president - reports
"He sees the chance to pull this sport up to competing with the other sports,” Thorrington added.
"As much as possible... understanding how to manage a player like Gareth, a Ferrari or thoroughbred racehorse, they need extra attention in order to succeed, we're confident we'll be able to do that.
"The benefit of him joining the group we have, we will have a player who can play as much as he can, but we will do so sensibly. His priority will be at LAFC but we're not naive - he has a World Cup on the horizon and how we manage his preparation ahead of the World Cup will be important to Gareth and the success of LA, but we want him peaking after the game with the US!”
It seems, then, that Bale has chosen this move both carefully and wisely.
As tempting as a stint with home club Cardiff may have been, the Championship is quite possibly the most demanding league going – fixtures have been known to pass by without some even realising – and so given the Welshman doesn’t fancy getting battered and bruised for six months right before his biggest ever moment on the international stage, it makes sense to go with the MLS and the LA lifestyle.
Again, why not? It looks to be entirely the right choice, even if there will be those believing Bale has plenty more to give somewhere in Europe.
- Gabriel Jesus
- Raheem Sterling
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Robert Lewandowski
- Frenkie de Jong
- Matthijs de Ligt
- Christian Eriksen
- Kalvin Phillips
- Angel Di Maria
- Bernardo Silva
- Even Harry Maguire
And that was just Sunday’s list of shoulds, mights and wills from the transfer world of rumours on Twitter and beyond.
It sure looks like this week could be moving week across Europe, and we didn’t even mention Paul Pogba's return to Juventus which is seemingly signed, sealed and delivered too.
Of course, you can take half of that list and add a pinch of salt, but the Neymar and Ronaldo talk won't go away, while there is every reason to believe Phillips could become a Manchester City player this week, and that Jesus will be unveiled at Arsenal today, while the Gunners also appear eager to step up their interest in Raphinha too.
Then you’ve got Barcelona linked with a good chunk of that list, including Maguire, but you’d think they would rather focus their efforts on Lewandowski first and see what comes of the money they might get for De Jong... Seriously. Who knows.
Anyway. It’s late June. The new season is still a fair bit away. So forgive the transfer chat, it looks like an intriguing week is brewing – if that’s your cup of tea.
IN THE CHANNELS
Even goats need naps, and Luis Suarez was all too happy to capture it after Lionel Messi’s birthday weekend.
Quiet away from the world of transfers, and of course other sports to be getting your teeth into this week, but we enjoyed this “Ten years that changed the face of women’s football” piece from yesterday’s Observer by Miranda Bryant.
Obviously, the Euros are around the corner, and while there is still work to do, it is worth remembering how far the women’s game has come in 10 years:
Despite breaking records – and proving that women’s football could fill the home of football – many England players then still had day jobs. The Women’s Super League (WSL) had yet to become fully professional. How the landscape has shifted in a decade. Now, as England prepares to host the women’s Euros, which start on 6 July, with 450,000 tickets sold across the 25 days, it is already the biggest ever women’s sporting event in Europe. Games will take place in 10 venues including Wembley, Old Trafford, Brighton and Hove community stadium and St Mary’s in Southampton.
Never mind your Zidanes, Ronaldos, Figos and Beckhams, when it comes to Real Madrid of that era, Raul will always hold a special place in our hearts.
What. A. Player. Happy 45th birthday, Raul!
Not much football, naturally, but stay across Eurosport all day - all fortnight - for all things Wimbledon, while the Tour de France gets going this week too!
Man City turn to Cucurella after Arsenal agree terms for Zinchenko – Paper Round
'I haven't come here for the short term' - Bale eyeing longevity at Los Angeles FC
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