With MLS expansion side Los Angeles Football Club approaching the summer transfer window and the likelihood they’ll be signing a big name player, possibly more, very soon, comes a fresh transfer rumor.
ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle reported on Tuesday that LAFC are among the MLS teams interested in Mexican international Carlos Vela. The striker, currently with Spanish side Real Sociedad, is reportedly in talks once more with MLS.
Vela, 28, nearly joined the Colorado Rapids a couple years ago, and Carlisle reports that one sticking point at present is a $10 million transfer fee for his services.
Context to this is that there are definite pluses and minuses to Vela. He’s probably the most talented Mexican player at present, more than another LAFC rumored transfer target, Chicharito, certainly, but also more than Giovani dos Santos, “Tecatito” Corona or anybody else. Like Giovani dos Santos, however, Vela’s game has been punctuated by its mercurial nature, with him seeming to coast along for months and entire seasons at a time before getting into form. He’s spoken in the past about how he doesn’t really like soccer beyond playing it for a living, and while he’s not the first to say that, his attention span has almost certainly impacted his game on the field at times over the years.
Vela speaks English, having joined Premier League giants Arsenal as a teenager, and on a marketing level would be a good player to straddle the bilingual cultures in Los Angeles. But his public persona is rather aloof — there’s no question that the Mexican press can often cross the line from merely covering soccer at a fanatical level and get vicious and even libelous against players, but Vela has never warmed to being the face of a team, even if he’s arguably been just that for the past few years at Real Sociedad, and having to take on the marketing role for an MLS team may not be a great fit for him.
Having said all that, when he’s on form he’s a pretty remarkable player, and if LAFC were to somehow land him and another star (a big ask, I realize, but plausible) it could fit really well, especially if he was not the only big name on the roster. The reported $10 million transfer fee could sink a potential move, certainly, but if that amount could get lowered, it could potentially turn out to be a good deal, if Vela brings his A-game stateside. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.
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