After protracted negotiations last summer Arsenal sold Carlos Vela to Real Sociedad following a successful loan season.
As is typical in many transfers, the Gunners inserted a buy-back clause (there’s one in the Cesc Fabregas deal too) and a sell-on clause which could see them take up to 50% of any future sale.
Having under-performed in England, it was inevitable that when Vela started scoring in Spain stories would abound about Arsenal exercising the buy-back clause.
However, they are just stories – there’s a reason Vela is playing well and it’s because he feels more comfortable in Spain (as well as applying himself better at his new club) – and today the sporting director of the Basque club has categorically ruled out the Mexican’s departure back to London.
“We have not spoken to Arsenal,” said Lorenzo Juarros, “and Vela doesn’t want to go there. He wants to stay here and play in Europe with Sociedad.”
Real are currently in 4th position in La Liga, and Vela has scored 13 goals for them this season and is their leading scorer as they push for a Champions League place.
Vela’s desire to stay in Spain is not matched by another departure, with suggestions that Alex Song wants to return to the club after moving to Barcelona last summer.
Song’s uncle, Rigobert, laid bare the midfielder’s problems, saying, “This season he has only been a substitute. He is not happy.
“At Arsenal he was a leader on and off the field – he doesn’t feel like this in Spain and it makes him feel bad.”
Leaving aside the dubious claims of leadership, quite how Song thought he was going to play very often in a team with Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Fabregas and Mascherano in it is anyone’s guess.
We suspect he might have caught the rare, but sinister, Hlebovirus, which gives players ideas way above their station and can prove fatal to careers.