It is official: Nigel de Jong has signed with Bruce Arena‘s Los Angeles Galaxy, completing the European tandem of signings as the transfer window officially closes today. The deal is worth under $1 million, and an announcement will be made this week by the club. Meanwhile, the Galaxy defeated FC Shirak 2-1 on a Jose Villareal brace. Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times writes…
The Galaxy finished its off-season work at about the same time it was kicking off its preseason schedule Saturday, completing a deal for Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong just a couple of hours before limping past Armenian club FC Shirak, 2-1, in its first exhibition of the winter.
The Galaxy declined to discuss De Jong’s status on the record, but a person with knowledge of the talks confirmed the signing. And the addition of De Jong, a physical midfielder who played in the 2010 World Cup final, completes a busy five days for Bruce Arena, the Galaxy’s coach and general manager.
Earlier in the week the team announced the acquisitions of former English national team defender Ashley Cole, 35, from Italy‘s Roma and defender Jelle Van Damme, 32, from Belgium’s Standard Liege. Both players come to the Galaxy on free transfers, as will De Jong, 31, who negotiated a release from the final 2 1/2 years of his contract with Italy’s AC Milan. All three players are expected in Southern California this week.
Terms of De Jong’s contract were not released, but it is believed to be a one-year deal worth less than $1 million, financed partly through targeted allocation money from the league. There is also the possibility of lucrative options for the next two seasons, with De Jong assuming the designated player spot Steven Gerrard surrenders at the end of the year. The Galaxy also declined to discuss salary figures for Cole and Van Damme, but a team official familiar with the contracts said the team spent less than $1.7 million combined to sign the trio.
The round-up of preseason matches from Saturday…
- FC Tucson 0, Sporting Kansas City 4
- San Jose Earthquakes 8, San Francisco Stompers FC 0
- Toronto FC 2, UC Irvine 2
- LA Galaxy 2, FC Shirak 1
In other preseason action, San Jose defeated the Quakes Under-18 Academy 2-0 on Wednesday, the New York Red Bulls defeated South Florida 3-1 on Thursday and on Friday, IF Elfsborg shut out D.C. United 1-0.