The LA Galaxy will field a new-look squad in 2016, and the first of the team's anticipated international additions has been squared away.
Sources have confirmed to Goal USA that the Galaxy have completed the signing of English defender Ashley Cole. The signing is expected to be announced this week.
Cole, 35, will not count as a designated player, and sources tell Goal USA that Cole will not be signed via targeted allocation money. One source puts Cole's salary in the $200,000-$400,000 range.
Cole joins the Galaxy after enduring a disappointing stint at Italian side Roma, which he recently cut ties with to clear the way for his move to the Galaxy. He will reunite with former England teammate Steven Gerrard, who joined the Galaxy last summer.
The Galaxy are expected to deploy Cole as the team's starting left back, with Robbie Rogers slated for a move to right back.
The club's courtship of the former Arsenal and Chelsea defender has drawn scrutiny because of critical comments Cole made in 2014 about MLS.
"I had offers from the USA, but I’m not ready to relax on a beach yet," Cole said when asked about links with MLS when he first arrived at Roma.
Bruce Arena's squad has undergone a considerable roster shakeup this winter, with U.S. defender Omar Gonzalez and Brazilian midfielder Juninho leaving the Galaxy for Liga MX. The Galaxy have replenished their roster with MLS-based additions Mike Magee, Dan Kennedy and Jeff Larentowicz, while also signing forward Emmanuel Boateng.
The Galaxy have also been linked with moves for AC Milan midfielder Nigel De Jong, as well as Standard Liege defender Jelle Van Damme, with both signings close to completion. Sources tell Goal USA the move for De Jong would be a loan from AC Milan, where the Netherlands international has multiple years remaining on his contract.
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