Transfer Tracker

LAFC sign former Barcelona, Real Betis forward Cristian Tello 

TRANSFER_16x9-Cristian Tello


LAFC’s final-third makeover got another boost before the MLS Roster Freeze Date arrives on Sept. 2, as the Supporters’ Shield leaders announced Friday they’ve signed forward Cristian Tello.

The 31-year-old Spaniard joins on a free through 2022 with options for 2023-24 after last playing for Real Betis in LaLiga. He will not occupy a Designated Player spot for the Black & Gold, joining two days after Young Designated Player forward Brian Rodriguez was transferred to Liga MX’s Club America.

“Cristian is a dangerous attacker and a great fit to what we are building at LAFC,” LAFC co-president & general manager John Thorrington said in a release. “He has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world and has succeeded in high-pressure situations like the Champions League. We are excited to welcome him, his wife and family to LA as we continue the work towards our ultimate goal of winning championships.”

Tello has played in nearly 200 LaLiga games since coming through the Barcelona and Espanyol academies, plus has featured on loan at Italy’s Fiorentina and Portugal’s Porto. Internationally, Tello earned one cap for Spain in 2013 and featured at the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

This summer alone, LAFC have signed Tello and Welsh superstar Gareth Bale as free agents, plus re-signed Carlos Vela to a new deal and inked Denis Bouanga from France's Saint-Étienne– the latter two holding DP status. They all joined Kwadwo Opoku and Cristian Arango, forming arguably MLS’s deepest and best attacking group.

LAFC are the first team to book an Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs spot and are on pace to set a new single-season points record, which the New England Revolution (73) broke a year ago.