Cardiff owner says LAFC was too big for Bale to turn down

‘We tried our best but failed’: Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan insists Gareth Bale ‘really wanted’ to play for his hometown club in the Championship but admits the offer from Los Angeles FC was ‘too attractive to turn down’

  • Wales forward Gareth Bale has joined Los Angeles FC in Major League Soccer 
  • Bale had been linked with a move to Cardiff as he searches for regular action
  • Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan said the club tried their best to sign Bale
  • He admitted that it was ‘hard to compete’ with the MLS giants for the Welshman
  • The MLS season finishes a week before the World Cup in Qatar gets underway

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan says they tried their best to sign Gareth Bale but that MLS side Los Angeles FC were ‘too big’ to turn down.

The former Real Madrid star ended uncertainty over his future by sharing a video of himself with a black and gold LAFC cap, alongside the caption: ‘See you soon, Los Angeles.’

Tan said Bale ‘really wanted’ to play for his hometown club but that it was hard to compete, due to the commercial deals that could benefit Bale by playing in the United States. 

Gareth Bale confirmed his shock move to Los Angeles FC despite talks with Cardiff City

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan said it was hard to compete with the commercial power of LA

He told talkSPORT: ‘We were very very keen, he would have been a big coup for us.

‘It would have been great for Gareth Bale to play for his hometown, all the Welsh would be very happy if Gareth Bale returned home and played for Cardiff.

‘Personally, I think LAFC’s offer was too attractive for him to turn down. But originally he really wanted to come, the money wasn’t the matter. 

‘We came up with what we thought was a good offer to him, but finally it was very hard to compete when there is a lot of big American advertisers, a lot of commercial deals which were very good for Gareth Bale. We tried our best but we failed.’

Bale is seeking regular first-team football as he prepares for Wales’ first World Cup since 1958

He added: ‘Initially with Gareth, it wasn’t really the money, he just wanted to help Cardiff and help Wales. That’s why we could negotiate with him. He tried his best to join us but eventually I think the offer from LAFC was just too big to turn down.’

Bale, who became a free agent after leaving Real Madrid at the end of last season, is expected to be officially unveiled this week on an initial 12-month deal, as he seeks regular game-time ahead of Wales’ return to the World Cup.

LAFC re-tweeted his post on social media, but are yet to produce confirmation of their own.

The former Tottenham star, 32, could make his debut against David Beckham’s former club LA Galaxy on July 9 after the USA transfer window officially opens.

Bale was a free agent after his deal at Real Madrid was not renewed after nine years at the club

Crucially for Bale, the MLS season runs until November, a fortnight before Wales’ first World Cup finals campaign since 1958, begins in Qatar.

Though his current deal in LA takes him up to June 2023 when next year’s MLS season will be only halfway through, Bale has an option to continue for 18 months beyond that should his family settle and he is enjoying his football.

By going to America, Bale is following in the footsteps of some of British football’s most famous names, from Bobby Moore to David Beckham and Wayne Rooney.

Los Angeles FC are among the favourites to win the MLS this season and recently signed Italian legend Giorgio Chiellini from Juventus.

Wales’ first match in Qatar is against USA on November 22.

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