Arsenal are reportedly close to activating their £3.5 million buy-back clause to re-sign former player Carlos Vela from Real Sociedad—but will look to sell him on if the transfer goes through.
According to John Cross in The Mirror, the Gunners are attempting to negotiate a deal to keep him at the La Liga outfit but will buy the Mexican back if that is unsuccessful.
However, as confirmed by Cross and the Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson, the 25-year-old would likely be moved straight on even if he does return to the Emirates:
On Vela, Arsenal ready to buy him back from Sociedad for £3.25m as per clause but also may well sell him on again for more— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) June 12, 2014
Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay recently told Cadena Ser (via Gary Jones in the Daily Star) that Arsenal were indeed looking to bring back the player they sold in 2012.
"Arsenal have informed us that Vela would be with them next season," he said.
It would be a big loss to the Basque outfit. Vela was a star performer as they finished seventh in La Liga in the 2013-14 season.
The former Gunner bagged 16 goals and provided 12 assists in the Spanish league last season, putting him in exalted company, per WhoScored.com:
Gareth Bale: Is 1 of just 4 players to have reached double figures for both goals and assists in La Liga this season (Messi, Rakitic, Vela)— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) April 17, 2014
Those statistics suggest Arsenal have an absolute bargain on their hands if the reported fee of £3.5 million to buy him back is indeed accurate.
However, it seems strange that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is reportedly not looking to make Vela a part of his squad for next season.
What should Arsenal do about Vela?
Only Olivier Giroud scored more than 10 goals for Arsenal in the Premier League, per BBC Sport, and their lack of attacking depth was a key factor as they faded from the title race to finish fourth in 2013-14.
Even if Wenger was to add a genuine superstar forward to support Giroud, the addition of Vela would make for a very decent third option in attack.
Vela looks as though he could be a hugely valuable player for the Gunners despite his slightly underwhelming first stint at the club. However, it seems that Arsenal believe they can make a decent profit—and he certainly does seem worth a lot more than £3.5 million—which will contribute to other new signings.
Wenger would be advised to look at the player he might already have on his hands before selling proven quality on too quickly.