Real Sociedad have reportedly agreed to pay Arsenal around £10m to remove the buy back clause in former forward Carlos Vela’s contract, after team mate Antoine Griezmann confirmed the Mexican had agreed fresh terms with the Basque club.
There were suggestions that France international Griezmann could be included in negotiations, as Sociedad sought to keep Vela from Arsenal’s grasps at all costs due to the £3.5m buy back clause included in his deal when he signed permanently for the La Liga outfit in 2012.
But Griezmann, who has been hugely impressive in the World Cup, feels he wants to remain at Sociedad for the upcoming season along with his friend Vela.
The Frenchman confirmed to reporters that Vela’s new Real Sociedad contract is signed, while also suggesting he wants to stay with the La Liga outfit however nothing is set in concrete.
The winger told ESPN Mexico:
I’m talking to you in Spanish because of Carlos. He’s a top player; there’s no one better. We have a great relationship on and off the pitch because we’re good friends.
Yes, I think he is at Benzema’s level.
He’s relaxed. He’s already signed a new contract and he’s looking happy.
I don’t know where my future lies yet. Hopefully I’ll be able to stay, but we’ll have to see what happens.
For Arsenal the deal is a smart bit of business. The player himself certainly didn’t seem set on a return to England, while his ability to adapt and replicate his La Liga form in the Premier League was severely under scrutiny.
One thing many Gooners had hoped was Wenger could somehow incorporate Antoine Griezmann in the deal. He seemed set for an inevitable departure due to some of the big clubs knocking at Sociedad’s door. His statements above however certainly end any speculation of any involvement in Vela’s deal, but the Gunners could still use the reported £10m to help finance a deal for the Frenchman should he decide to take the next step in his exciting career.
But regardless, it seems another chapter has closed in the Vela’s Arsenal story..until next summer.
Did you have hopes that the little Mexican would return? Should we go back for Griezmann and link him up with Olivier Giroud next season? Share your thoughts below..