NYCFC signs Athletic Bilbao mainstay Androni Iraola on free transfer

New York City FC have signed longtime Athletic Bilbao defender Andoni Iraola on a free transfer.

Iraola, 32, has made over 500 appearances for Athletic, scoring 38 goals in 12 seasons.

He will be available for NYCFC when the secondary transfer window opens on July 8.

"I have only played for one club throughout my whole career and I knew after leaving Bilbao my first choice was always to play in the U.S. and in New York," Iraola said in a club statement. "It's a very exciting opportunity for me to join New York City FC in our inaugural season. This is a team with huge potential, passionate supporters, and I really wanted to be part of it."

Iraola has made seven appearances for Spain, but none since 2011. He will join his countryman David Villa at NYCFC.

"For me it will be very nice playing with David Villa," Iraola said. "We've crossed paths on the national team, we have played against each other many times but being able to play with him in the league and fight together is extra motivation for me."

The captain's armband will stay with Villa or go to fellow transfer Frank Lampard, but NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna said he was excited to add another player of Iraola's experience to the squad.

"He's not going to wear the captain's armband, but essentially we're adding another captain to the team," Reyna said.

Also on Tuesday, NYCFC announced that young defender Jose Angel Tasende has joined the MLS squad from sister club Manchester City on loan for the rest of the season.

Known as Angelino, the 18-year-old excelled for Man City's under-21 squad last season.

"Angelino's development in the last 18 months in Manchester has been tremendous," Reyna said. "He has excellent technical qualities on the ball and plays with a competitive spirit that will fit in nicely to the team."