Less than a week after English star Steven Gerrard made his debut, the Los Angeles Galaxy have signed another huge international name.
According to a Tuesday report from The Los Angeles Times, Mexican international Giovani Dos Santos has left Spanish club Villarreal and agreed to a four-and-a-half year deal with the Galaxy. The Galaxy confirmed the signing on Wednesday, stating that Dos Santos will join the club following the completion of the Gold Cup.
Dos Santos had spent his entire career playing in Europe, most notably with Barcelona and Tottenham, and the 26-year-old midfielder has been a key component on the Mexican national team since 2007. He'll reportedly fetch a transfer fee in the $7 million range.
Major League Soccer only permits its teams to have three Designated Players, which allows clubs to pay three players' salaries with only a certain portion counting against the salary cap. Gerrard became the Galaxy's third DP after signing with LA earlier this year, joining Irish international Robbie Keane and United States international Omar Gonzalez. Because of this, the signing of Dos Santos had been held up by salary limitations.
But according to The Times, Dos Santos was able to join the club once MLS approved the Targeted Allocation Money method of signing players, which allows for more financial flexibility and for clubs to re-work their budgeting in order to add more high-priced talent while remaining at the three-DP threshold.
In the Galaxy's case, they'll use the entire $500,000 allotted per team for the next five years to buy down Gonzalez's budget number and make Dos Santos the third DP, according to The Times report. The Galaxy announced that Dos Santos would be a Designated Player in their announcement.
“There's a lot of things that have to happen for a deal of this magnitude,” Galaxy president Chris Klein told The Times. “We've had an interest in Giovani Dos Santos. And I think he's always had an interest in us. “It just took time for everything to come together.”