'You can't say no' – Vela admits he was 'really close' to Barca move

The LAFC star admitted he nearly went back to Spain on loan this past winter, but claims he’s loving life in California

Los Angeles FC forward Carlos Vela admitted that he was “really close” to joining Barcelona this past winter, confirming that the Spanish giants did indeed reach out regarding a loan deal.

After scoring 14 goals while providing 13 assists in his debut season for LAFC, Vela was the subject of interest from Barca, who spent the winter looking to sign a new attacker.

The Mexican was listed among the rumoured targets, but a move never came to fruition as Barcelona settled for Kevin-Prince Boateng instead.

Boateng went on to make just four total appearances for Barca, while Vela spent the winter offseason preparing for his second season in MLS.

But Vela admitted that was almost not the case as, if it were up to him, he would have joined up with Barcelona for that period.

“It was really close,” Vela said on BS The Podcast. “My second month for holidays, I was there with my piña colada and my agent called me to say ‘look, Barcelona is calling you. They want you to play for four months then you can go back to LA’. 

“I said just say yes, I don’t care about the money or nothing. I’m going to start training tomorrow, give me two weeks to be a little bit fit. 

“Barcelona, Real Madrid you can’t say no. … If it was only my choice, for sure, I’d take it.” 

Vela has continued to dominate MLS this campaign, as he edges closer and closer to the league’s single-season goal record. 

The Mexican forward has already scored 27 goals while providing 15 assists this season as he pursues Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez’s single-season mark of 31 goals. 

Meanwhile, LAFC sits atop the Western Conference, having already clinched a spot in the playoffs. 

The 30-year-old forward, fresh off a goal in 3-3 draw with the rival LA Galaxy, says he would like to spend the rest of his career in Los Angeles as he has found a club where he feels at home. 

“It’s not only the things I want, football is a business and you know how it works. But, if I have everything, I want to be here for the rest of my career,” he said. 

“I’m really happy here, playing in LA. I want to be here.” 

Next up for LAFC is a match against Minnesota United on Sunday, although Vela’s status remains up in the air due to a hamstring injury. 

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