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Carlos Vela declares he could return to Europe to play in 2022

Sounds like we are in final months of his stint at LAFC.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at San Jose Earthquakes Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

There’s plenty of chatter surrounding Carlos Vela’s future beyond this season, but in an interview with the player himself at the MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday, it seems his tenure with LAFC will be running out soon.

Vela told TUDN during a live interview on Wednesday at The Banc that he is in his final year of contract with LAFC, and is interested in a return to Europe.

Vela did not participate in the All-Star festivities on the field due to a quad injury that will keep him out of the big rivalry game against the LA Galaxy on Saturday.

While Vela’s contract status has been known for some time, there were reports that there’s an option year on his deal in MLS for 2022. With these comments, it appears Vela is indicating he’s ready to move on.

I think you can look at it two ways. On one hand, Vela had the opportunity to play with Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona in 2019, with the European giant targeting Vela, only for LAFC to say they did not want their star to leave, even temporarily, and convinced him to stay. He did, and had his best-ever season in 2019, winning MLS MVP in the process and leading LAFC to the Supporters’ Shield. In that regard, if he wants to go to Europe in the coming months, that’s his choice.

On the other hand, LAFC have been flagging recently, and while the club said in the aftermath of Vela pulling up injured last weekend that the quad injury has slowed him all season, there feels like a growing disconnect on the squad. I am loathe to say Vela is phoning it in because he’s a professional and he’s had some great moments this year, too, but at the very least he may be that little bit distracted and that may be affecting the whole team as a result.

Could things change and Vela decides to re-up with LAFC? Sure, anything’s possible. But we know Vela is not afraid to do what he wants, and I think it’s pretty likely the rest of this season will be his swansong with the black-and-gold. Stay tuned.

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