Carlos Vela has one of the weirdest contract situations I’ve ever seen in MLS, as someone who has seen plenty of strange contracts in the league over the past decade. The LAFC captain’s contract is set to expire on June 30 but the MLS season, of course, extends until nearly the end of the calendar year.
While there’s been plenty of speculation Vela wants to jet, he actually told reporters just before the start of the season that he was waiting for an offer for LAFC — whether he was waiting for any offer or the right offer may be up for debate — and very much sounded like he wanted to stay in Los Angeles, regardless of what the gossipy types said.
There has been some movement on this front, with two reputable reporters claiming Vela and LAFC will be ironing out a new contract to keep the attacker around for the rest of the 2022 season and beyond. The deal was not finalized but deemed “as good as done” as first reported by Fox Sports’ Doug McIntyre on Tuesday.
Carlos Vela and LAFC are close to finalizing a contract extension, multiple sources tell @FOXSports. “It’s as good as done,” says one. The 2019 MLS MVP will continue to count as a designated player.— Doug McIntyre (@ByDougMcIntyre) April 20, 2022
And the Designated Player will remain one, with the deal set to run “at least” through the 2023 season, per MLSsoccer.com’s Tom Bogert on Wednesday.
Sources confirm Doug's scoop: Carlos Vela and LAFC have agreed on a contract extension. Can add Vela's deal is "at least" through 2023. Will continue as a DP.— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) April 20, 2022
Vela, 33, has 61g/37a in 93 regular season apps with LAFC and has been the face of the club from their inaugural season. https://t.co/IUmwyUjAjN
All of this makes sense. Vela is comfortable, still producing and at a club that continues to want him. While some pundits were floating fantasies that LAFC could turn Vela into a TAM player and get another open DP slot (they have one open right now, in fact), that honestly didn’t seem remotely plausible, and while time will tell if extending him on DP deal turns out to be a wise use of resources down the line, risking him walking away midseason with the team looking to be contenders again this year could have been catastrophic in the immediate term.
This is not official yet, and the club have not announced anything on this front, but I believe the reporting of McIntyre and Bogert is sound and I expect an announcement to come in a matter of days at this point. Stay tuned for the final confirmation.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.