The LA Galaxy have spent the summer trying to land a big-ticket striker, but when the opportunity to land a star midfielder like Jonathan dos Santos arose, they couldn't pass it up.
The Galaxy have completed the transfer of Dos Santos on a $5 million deal from Spanish club Villarreal, sources confirmed to Goal. Spanish outlet Mediterraneo reported on Monday that the Galaxy and Villarreal had agreed on a transfer fee, with Dos Santos and the Galaxy finalizing personal terms on Tuesday.
Details of Dos Santos' contract are unknown, but one league source tells Goal Dos Santos will be on a deal which would put him in the $2-3 million range. He will be the Galaxy's third designated player, joining brother Giovani and French midfielder Romain Alessandrini.
The Galaxy came into the 2017 season expected to move away from their long-standing policy of spending big money, choosing to focus on developing academy products for the first team, but the looming arrival of LAFC, along with an infusion of money from the NFL's San Diego Chargers playing games at the Galaxy's StubHub Center, helped the club fund a war chest to add some high-profile talent.
The Galaxy had been in the market for a big-money striker -- with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andre-Pierre Gignac and Dario Benedetto all linked to the club -- but Dos Santos' acquisition will likely put the search on the backburner until 2018, when MLS is expected to provide another significant infusion of targeted allocation money along with an increase in the cap on TAM salaries, a cap that currently stands at $1 million.
The Galaxy have been linked to a move for Jonathan Dos Santos since January, when Goal reported the team's intention to make a move for him. A winter move for Dos Santos never materialized, but the seeds were planted for a future acquisition. After failing to land any of their big-ticket striker targets, the Galaxy resumed their approach for Dos Santos and finalized the deal at a time when the Galaxy are struggling badly and could use his presence in midfield.
The move reunites Dos Santos with his brother Giovani. The El Tri midfielders have played together at Barcelona's academy before being teammates at Villarreal.
The Dos Santos transfer could signal the end in LA for one of the Galaxy's other high-priced central midfielders in Joao Pedro and Jermaine Jones, who both joined the Galaxy this past winter. Unloading one of them could help pave the way for some forward help this season.