Los Angeles FC striker Carlos Vela has revealed that he came close to joining Barcelona on loan earlier this year.
The Mexico international has been plying his trade in MLS since January 2018.
He previously played his club football in Europe, making his professional debut for Arsenal before going on to represent Celta Vigo, Salamanca, Osasuna, West Brom and Real Sociedad.
It was with the latter that he enjoyed the most success, scoring 73 goals in 250 appearances for la Real.
And Vela says he almost returned to La Liga with Barcelona ahead of the 2019 MLS campaign.
"It was really close," the striker told MLS Soccer. "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 and 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 did not explain why the deal ultimately fell through, although it has not affected his form for LAFC this season.
The former Gunner has netted 28 goals in 28 games in all competitions, helping Bob Bradley's side open up a 19-point lead at the top of the Western Conference standings.
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Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).
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