Since the first reports of FC Barcelona's interest in LAFC captain Carlos Vela, there have been several daily developments:
Sun., Jan. 20
Vela spoke about all the chatter for the first time in a Sunday interview with Univision Deportes:
“It’s a good sign when they speak about you,” Vela told Univision. “And when there’s interest from a club in you, that means you’re on the right path and you’re doing things well. And that motivates you to do even better and to continue to show the great player that I am and the great leader I’m trying to be on my team — taking a new team [LAFC] and taking it to the highest level. And all this motivates me and makes me eager to get started [with preseason] and entertain fans every weekend.”
“It’s a topic that’s complicated to talk about because from one side or the other you can go either way. But I’m focused on working. I’m a soccer player and I’m trying to do my job the best I can. And outside of that, these are things for clubs and representatives to handle and you stay on the outside.”
Sat., Jan. 19
Mundo Deportivo and ESPNDeportes.com report that barring a sudden reversal, FC Barcelona have decided to forego the pursuit of Vela and instead focus on the acquisition of a more traditional No. 9 forward.
LAFC GM John Thorrington told the LA Times on Saturday that "the club is obviously aware of the conversation going on publicly, but we will not disclose details."
In a press conference ahead of Barcelona's La Liga match, manager Ernesto Valverde addressed the rumors, calling Vela "a great player who has already proven himself in this league [La Liga]. But we don't speak about players who play for other clubs."
Regarding the Spanish club's search for an attacking option, Valverde said: "I'm not frustrated about not having an alternative, but I know that the club is looking for one. It's not so easy. It's not something that we're spending the whole day thinking about. If it happens and fits, great. If not, we'll keep playing with the players who are here."
Fri., Jan. 18
Spanish outlet Sport reported on Friday that Barcelona had an agreement in place to bring in Vela on loan for the rest of the season. Later in the day, ESPN Deportes reported that LAFC have agreed to loan Vela to Barcelona for the rest of the 2018-19 season.
However, stateside, The Los Angeles Times' Kevin Baxter wrote on Friday, "LAFC has yet to publicly confirm Barcelona’s interest in Vela and a deal is considered to be a longshot."
Wed., Jan. 16
With Barcelona needing short-term attacking depth, the Catalan giants may turn to Carlos Vela as their solution.
With Munir El-Haddadi moving on, Barcelona are interested in LAFC's Vela to replace him, according to Mundo Deportivo. Other options the club are reportedly considering include Chelsea's Alvaro Morata, West Ham's Javier Hernandez and others.
Carlos Vela reportedly emerges as January Barcelona targethttps://t.co/KxbaxCD2LH— AS English (@English_AS) January 16, 2019
Catalonian radio station Cadena SER was the first to report Barcelona's potential interest in Vela.
Vela was a Best XI selection in his first MLS season, with 14 goals and 13 assists across 28 appearances in LAFC's expansion season. He's no stranger to La Liga, where he starred for Real Sociedad after spending years at Arsenal. For Sociedad, Vela had 73 goals and 45 assists in 250 appearances.