TRANSFER TRACKER: Report
One day after D.C. United parted with manager Hernan Losada, The Washington Post is reporting the Black-and-Red could be making a big splash on the player market. A Real big splash.
Soccer reporter Steven Goff on Thursday tweeted that the club has exchanged proposals with Wales captain Gareth Bale, who is expected to leave Real Madrid at the end of the 2021-22 season on a free transfer.
Bale's former Tottenham Hotspur and Cardiff City are among other clubs connected to a free transfer in reports elsewhere.
The proposals are preliminary and may not lead anywhere, Goff notes. D.C. United have also been connected to other European stars like Mezut Ozil and Luka Modric in the past without reaching a deal. But they did successfully complete the signing of Wayne Rooney in the summer of 2018, and appear willing to pay more in salary than to the former Manchester United and England star, who spent a year-and-a-half on Potomac Avenue.
Goff himself wrote the connection "seems very far-fetched" in a reply to his own tweet.
The Black-and-Red have finished outside the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in the two years since Rooney's departure, and are currently last in the Eastern Conference with seven points earned from six matches (2W-4L-0D). The club parted with Losada on Wednesday after the Argentine had just 40 league matches in charge of one of MLS's founding members.
The 32-year-old Bale has played only 283 minutes for Los Blancos in La Liga this season, but he remains a crucial fixture for the Welsh World Cup qualifying effort, scoring five goals so far in the current campaign. Wales are one of three potential US men's national team opponents at the 2022 FIFA World Cup from the final yet-to-be-resolved UEFA playoff that also includes Ukraine and Scotland.
The versatile attacker also isn't far removed from regular club success. He scored 11 league goals in only 20 appearances while on loan at Tottenham Hotspur during the 2020-21 season, and made at least double-digit starts in the six seasons before that at Madrid while winning four UEFA Champions League and two La Liga titles.
Bale began his pro career at Southampton before moving on to Spurs for his age-18 season and Madrid for his age-24 campaign. He has scored double-digit goals in seven seasons between the Premier League and La Liga, and was named to the UEFA Team of the Year in 2011 and 2013.