Former Arsenal forward Carlos Vela has admitted he came “really close” to joining Barcelona on loan last season.
The 30-year-old is now plying his trade in MLS with Los Angeles FC and is currently top scorer, having scored 27 goals in 26 games so far this season.
Could Vela have joined Barcelona? Five things to know…
- Carlos Vela joined LAFC from Real Sociedad in January 2018.
- The Mexican scored 14 goals in his debut MLS season.
- His performances brought interest from Barcelona in January 2019, who were looking for a striker.
- But despite wishing for the move, it failed to materialise, and Barca signed Kevin-Prince Boateng on loan.
- Vela has scored 27 goals in 26 MLS games this season and is the league’s top scorer.
His stunning form follows on from an impressive debut campaign, in which he scored 14 and provided 13 assists, prompting interest from Barcelona.
In January 2019 the Blaugrana were looking to sign a striker to provide back up for Luis Suarez, allowing the Uruguayan to be rested at crucial points of the season.
Barcelona eventually opted for Kevin-Price Boateng, who would make four appearances, but Vela has revealed it could have been so much different if he had his way.
“It was really close,” Vela told BS The Podcast.
“My second month for holidays, I was there with my piña colada and my agent called me to say ‘look, Barcelona is calling you. They want you to play for four months then you can go back to LA’.
“I said just say yes, I don’t care about the money or nothing. I’m going to start training tomorrow, give me two weeks to be a little bit fit.
“Barcelona, Real Madrid you can’t say no. … If it was only my choice, for sure, I’d take it.”
But instead, Vela stayed put and is a star man for LAFC as they look to win the MLS Cup in just their second season.
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Vela happy to end career in LA
Despite admitting his desire to move when Barcelona came calling, Vela quickly reaffirmed LAFC fans of his commitment to the club by insisting he wants to stay with the Black and Gold until he retires.
He added: “It’s not only the things I want, football is a business and you know how it works. But, if I have everything, I want to be here for the rest of my career.
“I’m really happy here, playing in LA. I want to be here.”