Real Sociedad have confirmed that Arsenal will attempt to activate their buy-back option on Mexican striker Carlos Vela this summer and bring the player back to the Premier League.
Simon Jones of the Mail Online writes that Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay has publicly spoken about the deal, which would see Vela return to London in a £3.5 million transaction.
Jones quotes Aperribay saying:
"Arsenal have informed us that Vela would be with them next season."
However, Aperribay also revealed Vela's desire to stay in Spain. He said, per Sky Sports: "We are fortunate that the player is keen to stay in San Sebastian with us and that's an important factor for Real Sociedad."
Sports correspondent Oier Fano wrote on Twitter that Arsene Wenger has confirmed the move to bring Vela back to Arsenal:
The 25-year-old initially signed for the Gunners eight years ago but found first-team football hard to come by. However, last year saw the striker break through at the top level in Spain.
Vela smashed 17 goals and provided 12 assists in the 2013-14 La Liga and European campaign, per WhoScored.com, confirming his arrival as one of the continent's hottest strikers.
Wenger always had great faith that the player would develop into a top talent and last season's form confirmed he might now be ready to step up a level.
Vela had recently revealed that a return to Arsenal was indeed on the cards and that he is more prepared for the rigours of life in the English league now than previously.
He said, per Jamie Anderson of the Daily Star: "Arsenal can come back for me at £3.3m at any time, which is more than Real Sociedad paid. I look at things differently these days and I won’t close the door on Arsenal, or any team in England. I think I’m better prepared to play in another country now."
The player had previously been farmed out by Wenger to Salamanca, Osasuna and West Bromwich Albion in an attempt to give him experience, before the Gunners decided to sell him for £2 million to Sociedad, per Anderson.
At such a cheap price, Arsenal activating their buy-back on Vela is no surprise but his transfer will disappoint some Gunners fans who were looking for a high-profile striker to join the club this year.
Vela has done well in recent times but it is questionable whether he is the correct player to complement Olivier Giroud in the striker's position.
However, Vela has shown some stellar form in Spain and Wenger will be keen to prove that his initial ideas about the player, when he was a teenager, were correct.
He will surely add goals to Arsenal's cause next season and if he has a good World Cup, his transfer fee will be viewed as one of the bargains of the transfer window.