Real Socieded striker Carlos Vela has continued to be linked with a return to the Premier League in recent months but the latest reports suggest that the former Arsenal man could be heading across the Atlantic instead.
The report comes only a month after the 26-year-old forward revealed that he strongly considered making a stateside switch in the summer, having received several offers from US top-flight teams.
"There were several options,” he told Mexican newspaper Record. “The truth is, it was interesting to me to be close to my country and that makes you re-think what you want.
“But it did not happen and I am still here. The only thing I can do now is think about La Real and give everything.”
The San Jose Earthquakes were one of the clubs rumoured to be chasing Vela’s signature in the summer but both El Confidencial’s report and ESPN claim that the struggling Chicago Fire would now be his likeliest destination in the event of an MLS move.
Whether they would have to fight off interest from the Premier League come January remains to be seen, however, given that West Ham United have been mentioned as a potential suitor for the La Liga ace over recent months.
The likes of Marca claimed back in July that the former Gunners prodigy had rejected the chance to return to London after the Hammers exercised the £21.4 million release clause in his Real Sociedad contract, but Calciomercato has since reported that Slaven Bilic remains intent on bringing him back to England.
Though his current deal runs until 2018, El Confidencial notes that the 47-times capped forward is set to be available for a relative bargain fee after making his intentions to leave the Anoeta clear but, while he will not be short of European suitors, MLS has proven of late that its lure should not be underestimated.
The LA Galaxy’s capture of Mexico teammate Giovani dos Santos from Real Mallorca in July is just one example of the league’s increasing appeal and it would not be surprising to see Vela follow the same path from Spain to the US in the near future.
His signing would without doubt create a huge commercial windfall for someone like Chicago but, having also netted 57 goals in 166 games for Real Sociedad since arriving from Arsenal in 2012 on an initial loan deal which later became permanent, his impact on the pitch could be even more significant.