(Reuters) – LA Galaxy have signed Mexico midfielder Jonathan dos Santos from Spain’s Villarreal in a bid to turn around their season, the Major League Soccer club said on Thursday.
Dos Santos, who represented Mexico at the Confederations Cup, will begin training with the Galaxy on Friday before being unveiled at a media conference.
“His signing will significantly improve our team as we continue to push for the playoffs and, ultimately, a sixth MLS Cup,” LA Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid said in a statement.
“We believe Jonathan will be a leader during the second half of this season and for years to come. We look forward to him joining our squad.”
The move reunites Dos Santos, 27, with his older brother Giovani dos Santos, who joined the Galaxy in July, 2015, also from Villarreal.
Jonathan dos Santos will not be available when the Galaxy host the Seattle Sounders on Saturday since he will only be officially added to the roster pending the receipt of his visa and international transfer certificate.
He was named in the Confederations Cup’s ‘Best XI’ after starting in four games and helping his country reach the semi-finals.
The midfielder began his career with Barcelona in 2009 before joining Villarreal, where he has made nearly 90 league appearances and scored four goals since 2014.
Internationally, Dos Santos has made 29 appearances across all competitions for Mexico.
He joins his brother and Frenchman Romain Alessandrini as Galaxy’s third designated player.
MLS clubs are allowed three designated players whose total compensation and acquisition costs exceed the usual budget limits.
Los Angeles are sitting in ninth place in the 11-team Western Conference, five points removed from the sixth and final playoff spot, with 14 games remaining.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ian Ransom)