Gareth Bale - Real Madrid – celebration

You know it's silly season when a want-away Real Madrid star is linked with MLS and, in particular, the LA Galaxy.

The Galaxy were rumored to be in talks with Real Madrid's Gareth Bale over the last few weeks, though the initial report was quickly knocked down by various sources and the knowledge that the Galaxy didn't have an open Designated Player spot for the 32-year-old attacker, with Jona dos Santos, Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Kevin Cabral the team's three DPs.

As if that weren't enough to pour cold water on the rumors, Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney answered pretty directly when asked about Bale this week.

"I think it's an interesting rumor. To me, there's nothing to it," Vanney told media Tuesday. "Obviously, he's a good player, a fantastic player who has length. And I'm sure a player who probably has some interest in Los Angeles as a destination and a place to be but for us it doesn't fit the direction that we're going with the group. And while he would help the team I'm sure, it's just not the direction we're moving right now."

Greg Vanney

Bale, who turns 32 next week, has also predictably been linked with Inter Miami in the past. He spent 2020-21 on loan at Tottenham, where he first exploded to stardom before signing with Real Madrid. In his return to England he had 16 goals and three assists in 34 appearances across all competitions, though only started 10 Premier League games. Injuries and high expectation following a transfer north of $100 million have marred his time with the Spanish superclub, though he has 105 goals and 68 assists in 251 appearances with Madrid.

He also has 33 goals in 96 appearances with Wales.

The Galaxy are in the midst of a bounceback season under Vanney, who took over this winter after a trophy-laden stint with Toronto FC. They have 21 points after 11 matches, sitting third in the Western Conference behind Chicharito's resurgence. The first-choice attack is made up of Chicharito, Cabral and Samuel Grandsir, with Efra Alvarez, Ethan Zubak and others contributing.

The Secondary Transfer Window in MLS opened Wednesday.