As Arsene Wenger enters one of his biggest summer transfer windows as Arsenal manager, his ingenuity is already shining through, according to reports in Spain.
Mundo Deportivo are claiming that Wenger is getting tough with Real Sociedad over Arsenal's clause to buy back Mexican forward Carlos Vela.
From July 1st, Arsenal have the rights to purchase Vela for the paltry sum of €4m - much higher than his market value after two fruitful season in La Liga.
However, Wenger would rather sign another Real Sociedad star in the form of Antoine Griezmann.
The 23-year-old has been on fire for the Spanish club this season, scoring 16 goals in La Liga and breaking into the French World Cup squad in the process.
Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool have all shown an interest in signing the player, thought to have a release clause of €30m.
However, thanks to the buy-back clause, inserted into the deal that saw Vela move to Spain in 2012, Wenger has gained the upperhand in the race to sign Griezmann.
Wenger is willing to sell the clause back to Real Sociedad, nulling their rights to buy Vela back for €4m in exchange for €12m off of Griezmann's clause.
That means while their rivals would have to fork out €30m on the player, Arsenal may be able to sign him for just €18m.
It remains a fact that all three of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United have the means to purchase Griezmann and remain.
Brendan Rodgers is keen to add strength in depth to Liverpool's forward line as he prepares to take the Anfield club into the Champions League.
Manchester United, on the other hand, have a rebuilding process underway this summer and Louis van Gaal has as much as €185m to spend on players, meaning Old Trafford officials could meet his release clause without flinching.
But Wenger's power over Sociedad with regards to Vela's buy back clause puts them as clear frontrunners, proving the Arsenal manager still has what it takes to beat rivals to big targets.
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