According to the Los Angeles Times, LA Galaxy have acquired Mexican star Giovani dos Santos from La Liga side Villarreal.
The club confirmed to the LA Times that dos Santos has been signed, and added that a Galaxy official told the publication that dos Santos' annual salary will not exceed $6 million, which is what Steven Gerrard is earning.
After weeks of speculation, a series of sources confirming that the transaction had been completed, and lengthy discussions with the player's representation, the 26 year-old attacking midfielder and veteran of two FIFA World Cups is now a member of LA Galaxy.
The attacking midfielder adds more than another dynamic option for Bruce Arena on the field, and should help the team make significant progress towards securing the support of Southern California's significant Mexican-American demographic. The importance of locking down SoCal's Mexican-American population as a fan base is now underscored by the impending arrival of expansion club Los Angeles FC in 2018.
Speaking about what lies ahead for Giovani dos Santos, Bruce Arena said, "It's going to be a challenge for him. He's not been at a club yet where he's had those kind of responsibilities, and he's in a community where he's going to be sought after. He's going to have to be mature about it."
Villarreal's asking price for dos Santos was reportedly $7 million. Closing this deal was made easier by the introduction of a new MLS roster mechanism, which involves "Target Allocation Money" (TAM), giving clubs the flexibility to make roster moves that would have been impossible in the past. With an added $500,000 of TAM, the Galaxy were most likely able to make this move by buying down the contract of Omar Gonzalez, which then freed up a Designated Player spot for dos Santos to fill.
The LA Galaxy will be Giovani dos Santos' eight professional club and his first outside of Europe. He spent time with Barcelona, Racing Santander, and Mallorca in Spain, followed by stints in England with Tottenham Hotspur and Ipswich Town. He then made a move to Turkey's Galatasaray before landing back in Spain with Villarreal, where he scored 12 goals in 58 matches.
Dos Santos is currently with the Mexican National Team, who are competing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Galaxy are aiming for dos Santos to make his debut on August 9th at the StubHub Center against the Seattle Sounders.