Real Sociedad are seemingly prepared to pursue what would be a club record deal for Carlos Vela in the hope Arsenal will not activate their option to repurchase the player. Vela left Arsenal for Real in 2012 and has performed to distinction since completing his permanent transfer.
Arsenal, though, retained an option to buy Vela back for just £3.5 million - something they have been keen to exercise following his excellent season. Vela was able to score 16 times and provide 12 assists in La Liga, with his goals tally only one shy of long-term Arsenal target Karim Benzema.
Deal to be announced this week?
Real Sociedad have, of course, been desperate for Vela to remain at the Anoeta and, according to Marca, have been able to make significant progress in their bid to keep him. It is reported that a deal has almost been reached with Arsenal, and it could be announced before the end of the week.
Vela is supposedly set to agree a contract until 2018, with the total cost of the deal to reach €20 million - a transfer high for Real Sociedad. Of this total figure, Arsenal will receive a €12 million transfer fee.
This will be a welcome boost to the Arsenal coffers as Arsene Wenger ramps up his plans to invest significantly in his squad over the coming months. Wenger may have passed the opportunity to re-sign Cesc Fabregas, much to the dismay of fans, but there could still be a marquee signing or two before the transfer deadline.
Now onto Balotelli
Mario Balotelli seems the most likely notable signing to arrive at the Emirates Stadium, with Wenger reportedly set to hold talks with the player’s agent this weekend. AC Milan are prepared to cash-in on Balotelli in order to ease their financial issues, while Mino Raiola claimed a move to Arsenal is a possibility.
But, when it comes to Arsenal, a deal is never done until it is officially over the line, and supporters will be perfectly aware that they ought not to get too carried away. A year ago they appeared set to recruit Gonzalo Higuian from Real Madrid, only to lose out to Napoli, while there have been countless other misses in the past.
There was, of course, the significant coup of Mesut Ozil on the final day of that same summer window, which provides optimism that the Gunners will be able to get Balotelli and others in ahead of their rivals.