MLS in talks with Real Sociedad over Mexico forward Carlos Vela - source
Major League Soccer has resumed its pursuit of Real Sociedad and Mexico international forward Carlos Vela.
A league source told ESPN FC that MLS is currently engaged in talks with Sociedad to bring Vela to the league, and that 2018 expansion entrant LAFC is among the teams interested. But other MLS sides, including the neighboring LA Galaxy, would also be in the market for Vela if the price is right.
The Spanish club's proposed transfer fee of $10 million could be a sticking point, the source added. According to Transfermarkt.com, Vela's contract expires in June of 2018.
Vela, 28, has long been a target of MLS and its teams, with rumors of mutual interest reaching their peak before the start of the 2016 MLS season.
At that time, the Colorado Rapids, the Chicago Fire, and the San Jose Earthquakes were reported to be chasing Vela, but he opted to remain in La Liga. Now those talks are back on.
Vela has spent his entire professional career in Europe, signing with Arsenal as a 16-year-old in 2005. But Vela spent the vast majority of his seven-year spell with the Gunners out on loan, scoring just seven goals in 59 appearances for his parent club.
The last of these loan stints was with Real Sociedad starting in 2011, and he eventually made the move permanent. Since then, Vela has been a key component of La Real's attack, scoring 69 goals in 230 league and cup appearances.
At international level, Vela has scored 15 goals in 51 appearances for Mexico, though his relationship with the national team has been strained at times. He was suspended by the Mexican Football Federation back in 2010 for his involvement in a post-game party. He later refused to play for El Tri for three years starting in 2011.
But he returned to the side in 2014, and has appeared in three of Mexico's four matches during the final round of World Cup qualifying.
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.