Transfer Tracker

Official: LAFC sign Saint-Etienne forward Denis Bouanga as Designated Player


UPDATE (Aug. 5, 2:05 pm ET) – LAFC have signed Gabon international forward Denis Bouanga as a Designated Player from Ligue 2 side Saint-Etienne, the club announced Friday.

Bouanga, 27, had 26 goals and 13 assists in 96 appearances for Saint-Etienne during three Ligue 1 seasons before they got relegated to France’s second tier for the 2022-23 campaign.

“Denis is a proven attacker in the prime of his career and is an excellent complement to our group,” LAFC co-president and general manager John Thorrington said in a release. “He is a player in high demand, and we are grateful he and his family have chosen to continue his career in L.A. in order to help us achieve our ultimate goal of winning trophies.”

Bounga joins Carlos Vela and Brian Rodriguez as DPs at the Black & Gold. The deal, at a reported $5 million, was completed just before the MLS Secondary Transfer Window closed Thursday evening.

ORIGINAL (Aug. 5, 11:15 am ET) – LAFC’s quest for a second Supporters’ Shield title in four years and a first-ever MLS Cup could receive another lift, with multiple reports emerging Thursday that they’re set to sign Gabon national team forward Denis Bouanga from Ligue 2 club Saint-Etienne.

French outlet L'Équipe reports the 27-year-old will join on a long-term deal, while’s Tom Bogert reports a deal is being finalized.

LAFC moves

Bouanga would join Welsh star Gareth Bale as summertime arrivals for LAFC’s hyper-charged attack, potentially forming a trio alongside captain and Mexican star Carlos Vela. The Black & Gold are atop the league standings, and also boast striker Cristian Arango and winger Brian Rodriguez among other options.

LAFC have an open Designated Player spot and have been moving on from several attackers, with Danny Musovski traded to Real Salt Lake and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi reportedly getting traded to the New England Revolution.

Bouanga's background

Bouanga has spent his entire professional career in France and is coming off a Ligue 1 season where he tallied 9g/6a in 34 games as Saint-Etienne got relegated. He’s also played for Lorient, Nimes and others.

The forward has seven goals in 32 appearances for Gabon, often playing for the African nation alongside Barcelona star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

A versatile forward, Bouanga could play anywhere across LAFC’s front line in head coach Steve Cherundolo’s preferred 4-3-3 formation. With 48 points in 22 matches, they’ve also scored the second-most goals (44) in MLS.