Arsenal are said to be in the race to bring back former starlet Carlos Vela to the club. The Mexican forward left for San Sebastian in 2012, completing a permanent deal after a year on loan with the club. And he didn’t disappoint, with 14 goals and 12 assists in his 38 appearances for the club.
This season has also been impressive - the 25-year-old scoring 16 goals and assisting 12 - he is certainly a player Arsenal wish they had.
But when they let him go they knew of his potential - so they inserted a buy-back clause in his deal worth €4 million in order to snap him back up if they wanted.
The problem until recently has been Vela. He has made it clear on several occasions in the past 18 months that he did not want to return to North London.
But last month that all changed, when he told Spanish media:
“Arsenal can come back for me at €4 million at any time, which is €1 million more than Real Sociedad paid. I look at things differently these days and I won’t close the door on Arsenal...”
Now Arsenal are said to be keen, and the Basque club are desperately trying to keep hold of him. He currently has a release clause of £25 million in his deal, which deters most prospective buyers. But Arsenal can get him at a snip. With the future of fellow attacker Antoine Griezmann and defender Inigo Martinez also in doubt the San Sebastian outfit are desperate to keep their Mexican star.
Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo is now reporting that the club's president Jokin Aperribay flew into London yesterday to London, after reportedly playing a relaxing game of golf with Jose Maria Olazabal, to discuss the potential cancellation of the clause and of any ownership Arsenal still have over the player.
The fact is, Vela is still said to be keen on staying at Sociedad, but with no European football next season at the Anoeta and the likelihood of big names leaving he would obviously be tempted by Champions League football at The Emirates.
And Arsenal, despite the optimism of Sociedad, hold all the cards in this game of poker. The deal could also be discussed throughout the summer. Vela rejected the chance to play for Mexico at this summer's World Cup and therefore, if Arsenal get the ball in motion, Vela could return sooner rather than later.