Carlos Vela Could Be On His Way To MLS Club Colorado Rapids
The long-standing transfer saga concerning Carlos Vela and MLS reared its head again on Monday. While it has long been reported that Vela is open to a move to the United States, his final destination has been the subject of much speculation.
Due to Major League Soccer’s player discovery process, the Colorado Rapids have the first right to Vela.
While many prognosticators have touted Chicago as the more likely destination, his agent Eduardo Hernandez declared, “We want to listen [to] them [Colorado]…Carlos has been playing in Europe for 10 years, far from his family and that is why the United States is an alternative…we don’t want to limit Carlos’ options and that is why we are listening.”
For Colorado, a seemingly interested Vela appears to have given the green light to Rapids ownership. The main question remains if Colorado are willing to spend the money, something they haven’t traditionally done, needed to bring the Mexican attacker stateside.
If not, Chicago will have the option of signing a player they've long coveted.
Vela signed a four year contract with Real Sociedad in 2014, the club paying Arsenal €11 million, plus €5 million in additional variables, to retain his services after an original loan from the parent club. Accordingly, his transfer value is around €16 million ($17 million).
Sociedad will certainly be looking to receive adequate compensation for a talented player who is still only 26 years old.
While MLS would help Colorado to pay the initial transfer fee, his wage would certainly exceed the $1.17 million which designated player Kevin Doyle earns annually, a club record.
For the Rapids, signing Vela would give the franchise a much needed shot in the arm. Colorado had the lowest average attendance in MLS throughout the 2015 season, averaging only 15,657 supporters per match.
The Rapids sporting director, Claudio Lopez, has confirmed that “we’re already negotiating with Real Sociedad and the player.”
An attacking partnership of Doyle and Vela would give Colorado the most exciting forward pairing in the history of the club, as well as the most expensive.
Vela has scored 53 goals in 146 La Liga appearances for Real Sociedad and 15 in 47 for El Tri.
There’s a number of things to look out for between now and January concerning this move. Most importantly will be Vela’s standing at Real Sociedad.
While Vela appeared to have been frozen out of the starting eleven by then manager David Moyes, Eusebio Sacristán, who was appointed after Moyes was sacked, gave the forward 81 minutes in their 0-4 loss to Barcelona.
However, Vela’s past year in Spain paints the picture of a player who is increasingly unsettled and pining for a move closer to home.
While it’s certainly possible that Vela will stay in Spain throughout the course of the season, a scenario Rapids fans will be keen to avoid, he’s looking increasingly destined for MLS sooner rather than later.