Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Why is Gareth Bale heading for Los Angeles?

Gareth Bale is joining Los Angeles FC (David Davies/PA)
Gareth Bale is joining Los Angeles FC (David Davies/PA)

Wales forward Gareth Bale is set to join Major League Soccer side Los Angeles FC next month when his contract with Real Madrid expires.

The five-time Champions League winner was in need of somewhere to play with his country going to their first World Cup in 64 years in November and had been linked with a move to hometown club Cardiff.

Here the PA news agency looks at why he has chosen Major League Soccer rather than the Sky Bet Championship.

So what made Gareth Bale, who has spent eight of the last nine years living in Madrid, choose west coast America over his Wales homeland?

On face value, Los Angeles has a winter average of six hours of sunshine and a temperature of 20 degrees. Perfect golfing weather. Cardiff’s average is eight degrees and three hours.

But surely it cannot have come down to the climate?

Well, no. While a return to his homeland was the romantic option is did not seem particularly practical. Yes, Cardiff share a training facility with the Football Association of Wales but that is where the convenience ends. Bale played seven club matches last season, due to fitness and selection issues, and the prospect of him facing a 46-game Championship campaign through he depths of winter – a month of the Qatar World Cup aside – seems fanciful. The MLS season is 34 matches, arguably at a lower intensity and frequency.

Why does Los Angeles FC make sense then?

Gareth Bale
Bale has a World Cup with Wales to look forward to in November (David Davies/PA)

Bale will join halfway through a season which ends in October, more than a month before the World Cup. As a result the forward, 33 next month, will have much lower expectations on him than had he rocked up at Cardiff and due to the adjustment required with a new team Bale should have chance to ease himself in. Having a short break immediately before the World Cup, rather than playing right up to nine days before the tournament starts, should also benefit the player and Wales in terms of recovery.

But can he be competitive?

Bale will arrive at a club who are top of the Western Conference and with nine wins and just three defeats LAFC currently have the best record of any team in the MLS. How he will fit into an already successful team remains to be seen but there is not likely to be an easy ride for the Welshman if he wants genuinely useful playing time. But there is an opportunity for him as the team’s leading scorer Carlos Vela has just six in 14 matches and their top assist providers Vela, Jose Cifuentes and Diego Palacios all have only three apiece.