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Jonathan dos Santos: LAFC star Carlos Vela could join Barcelona this winter

TRANSFER TRACKER: Rumor

Could another La Liga stint be in LAFC forward Carlos Vela’s future? Matters could trend that way, according to LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos, who claimed his Mexican compatriot is again a wintertime target of Barcelona.

"It's true that he has that offer on the table and I honestly don't know what he is going to do," dos Santos said to Colombian radio station W Radio. “He is very happy in Los Angeles, with his team. It's a unique opportunity the fact that Barcelona wants him, it's the best team in the world. As a Mexican, I hope that it can happen for him."

Dos Santos noted later in the interview that he has not spoken with Vela since the MLS MVP left for vacation.

However, Barcelona sources have told ESPN that they strongly deny having any interest in the 30-year-old Designated Player. It's also worth nothing that back in November, Vela said that his future rests at Banc of California Stadium. That's where he's served as captain under head coach Bob Bradley and inspired a regular-season record 72 points in 2019.

“I want to be here,” Vela said at the time. “I feel this is my home and if the owners don’t make me go home soon, I will be here for a long time.”

Also in November, LAFC general manager John Thorrington reinforced how Vela is the club’s “cornerstone” on the field. During 2019, Vela scored a single-season record 34 goals as LAFC won the Supporters’ Shield and he was named the Landon Donovan MLS MVP. 

“Carlos would make a difference for any team in the world, I am convinced of that,” Thorrington said.

Before being signed in August 2017, Vela played for La Liga side Real Sociedad and was on the books at Premier League club Arsenal, with loans to Spanish sides such as UD Salamanca, Osasuna, Celta Vigo and Sociedad.

He’s also been the subject of interest from Barcelona before, including last winter. In an October 2019 story with The New York Times, Vela certainly sounded intrigued by playing for the Catalan giants. Featuring in an attack with Lionel Messi, naturally, was enticing. 

“Who could say no to playing with Messi for four months and then come back to L.A.?” Vela said. “Enjoy, learn and then come back home.”

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