Galaxy agrees to deal for French midfielder Romain Alessandrini

Olympique de Marseille forward Romain Alessandrini, left, vies with Saint-Etienne's defender Pierre-Yves Polomat during a game Nov. 30.
(Jean-Philippe / Getty Images)

The Galaxy finally got its man Sunday, completing a deal to acquire midfielder Romain Alessandrini from French club Marseille.

Although the Galaxy declined to comment on the transfer Sunday, the team is expected to call a news conference for the middle of this week to introduce Alessandrini, who will assume one of the Galaxy’s two vacant designated-player spots.

Terms of the contract or the transfer price the Galaxy paid Marseille were not released. But if Alessandrini joins Giovani dos Santos as a designated player, that would leave one additional vacancy, a hole the team is expected to fill by re-signing defender Jelle Van Damme.


The acquisition of Alessandrini, a speedy 27-year-old winger, completes an off-season makeover of the Galaxy’s midfield. Earlier this month the team signed national team midfielder Jermaine Jones, 35, and acquired Joao Pedro, 23, from Portugal. Both were signed with targeted allocation money (TAM), meaning their individual salaries will not count for more than $481,000 against the MLS salary cap.

That leaves Sebastian Lletget, currently with the U.S. national team, as the only expected midfield returnee to the Galaxy’s starting 11. Lletget, 24, played in central midfield and on a wing last season, appearing in 31 games.

The three new additions also make the Galaxy midfield significantly younger. In last season’s opener, the Galaxy started Steven Gerrard, 35, and Nigel de Jong, 31. The additions also give the roster depth and flexibility by returning Ema Boateng to the reserve role he filled so successfully last year.

Alessandrini went to Marseille, his hometown team, from France rival Rennes in 2014 for a reported $5.3-million transfer fee. But after a loss of playing time, he became expendable when Marseille landed Dimitri Payet on a $31-million transfer.

Alessandrini appeared in six games for Marseille this season, starting three. He doesn’t have a goal or an assist. In three seasons at Marseille, he appeared in 54 league games, scoring eight goals and registering 12 assists.

Marseille was purchased in August by former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.


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