Vela to MLS still in the works

The Carlos Vela to MLS rumor mill is still churning despite the player’s social media dousing of the topic last week. Vela started, and played 68 minutes for Real Sociedad on Sunday while his agent met with MLS and the Colorado Rapids over the weekend. According to SI.com, the league is offering somewhere in the neighborhood of a $5 million transfer fee for his services and that’s not close to what Real Sociedad is asking in return.

That doesn’t mean that discussions have ceased.

Per a source in Spain, Real Sociedad was made aware of Vela’s desire to leave the club last summer in order to play closer to home. An agreement was forged with his agent allowing Vela’s camp to pursue other opportunities in facilitating a move. The agent, Eduardo Hernandez has publicly acknowledged discussions with MLS and continues attempts to negotiate a fee closer to the 15 million euros that Sociedad is looking for. If he can secure a deal in that ballpark, the transfer proposal will then be presented to club president Jokim Apperibay.

While there is still a large discrepancy between what MLS/Rapids are offering, Vela’s camp is poised to propose a solution to bridge the gap. An “investment fund” could be used to lower the transfer fee. Under the proposal, sponsors would make up the difference allowing Real Sociedad to recover the 14 million euros they have invested in Vela. The possibility of a more palatable transfer fee has piqued further interest from MLS and the Fire remain a possibility. According to the source, Chicago is one of the clubs that has expressed a desire to pursue Vela although the Rapids currently hold his Discovery rights. The Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas were also mentioned as possibilities due to their proximity to Mexico. As we have seen with Didier Drogba, if the player chooses to play with a team other than the one holding his league rights, MLS will make it happen.

According to another source stateside, the large amount of allocation money that was awarded to the Fire in exchange for Drogba’s rights wasn’t solely out of the Montreal Impact’s pocketbook. MLS supplemented the total in order to ensure that Drogba made his way to the league last summer.

The negotiations for Vela aren’t as straightforward as a typical DP signing since Vela has a contract that runs through the 2018 season and Arsenal reportedly has a 20% stake in any transfer fee Real Sociedad collects. There is also apparently a $33 million buy-out clause in the deal that could release him now but that appears to be too rich.

This wouldn’t be the first time that MLS’ opaque player acquisition rules have been maneuvered to bring in a big signing. The original “DP”, David Beckham signed a deal in 2007 that was reported to be in excess of $25 million per year but that included sponsorship dollars and the option to purchase a club. That wrinkle is being ironed out now in Miami.

Vela to MLS isn’t a done deal by any means but talks are expected to heat up again as the January transfer window approaches.

Filed under: 2015 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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  • Not gonna hold my breath at all for this one.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    I am. Signing a big name DP would be helpful to furthering the Club's off field success. We wouldn't know whether he'll help win games, but big name DPs aren't about winning anyway.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Agreed. I do think he would be a great player in MLS.

  • Big numbers.

    MLS has added an additional $800,000.00 in Targeted Allocation Money for each club over each of the next two years.
    They're also adding another $125K per year for Homegrown Player salaries off-budget.

    Fire have a big opportunity here.

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2015/12/09/mls-announces-37-million-investment-targeted-allocation-money-homegrown-player-funds

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    I'm still 50/50 on Vela. My main concern is that AH will feel strapped financially after Vela's price tag and we'll have to wait one more full season to properly address our defensive woes. My other (more minor) concern is that Vela is the first big name to cross our path since Drogba and AH is just looking to spend money for the sake of spending money. Clearly I want AH to be a spender but I question if this is a good move.

    As of right now I feel like I'm more in the "defensive DP" signing camp. Along with Vela I'd like to see more film of Yaro, Herbers and the Fire's homegrown prospects before I'd commit to a $15 million transfer fee.

  • In reply to Joe Brancato:

    (At least as this point in time) I would believe that NR would be figuring the points of your paragraph one into the equation. Unless, of course, Andy's always wanted to find out what it feels like to spend money like a drunken sailor.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    As far as I know, the Fire haven't put an offer on the table yet since his rights still belong to Colorado but they have thrown their name into the ring in the event that a deal doesn't get done with the Rapids.

  • The Fire did not make a selection in the waiver draft.

    The only player chosen was Micheal Azira by Colorado.

  • Fire have traded the number one pick in today's Re-entry draft to FC Dallas in exchange for General Allocation Money.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Either that prospect they'r eyeballing is pretty low on teams' lists or there is no prospect and we may as well get something out of it.

    I'll bet the latter.

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    Carlos Vela is too important a player for MLS to pass up a chance to sign. Not only talented but can bring many Mexican fans who are rightfully proud of their national team players. Hope to see him in chicago

  • Guys I had a chat with McGee today and things were a lot worse than is known about last years team. The players think that under Andrew the team will never equal to the class and coaching of the rest of the league. He laughed at the new management team. I am so glad that I have held back on buying tickets. Two teams are after him KC and vancouver.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    When did we have a McGee on the team? I thought we had Mike Magee on the team.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    We all saw how bad things were last season and the season before. Magee didnt help the team AT ALL for either of those seasons though. All HE did was run his mouth and then not play when he was healthy because he didnt want to get hurt. After he got his big contract, he sat back and collected a fat pay check. If any team offers him anything close to what he was making here will regret it in 6 months.

    The players are the individuals who were not equaling the class of the league. That has nothing to do with Hauptman. They are the individuals who collected a check each week while putting out piss poor performances for the club. If they didnt like the way things were at the club, they could change the attitude. They could play better. They could put in extra work to improve their play. They could defend better. They could score goals to win games. The players didnt do any of that, not Hauptman.

    This post, if true, also shows Magee's true character. A player with no respect and only out for himself. He was a troublesome employee and I will be glad to see him away from this club. He had the opportunity to be the face of his hometown club and threw it away. He blames the owner, medical team, and coaching staff for his inability to stay fit for any stretch of time. Never himself though... Adios, Magee,

  • Guys sorry I meant magee

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    Just giving you crap. ;)

  • Max Urruti goes to FC Dallas in the Re-Entry draft.

    The only other player chosen was Alec Kann by Sporting KC.

    Marco Pappa appears to be headed to the Rapids.

    The Fire should be active in Phase 2.

  • I think Urruti was cheap, less than $200,000, and would have been a good Fire pickup. I have no idea what kind of signings Pauno will make but i think his CV is impressive. Hope springs eternal.

  • Has there been any talk about the Fire investing in training facilities separate from the stadium and the rec soccer bubble?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    I've heard nothing along those lines.

  • Philadelphia just invested $10 million in a new facility where their first team, USL affiliate and their academy can all train. The team initially trained in a public park but still this shows that the Fire are falling further and further behind.

  • I'm think Vela will end up in Colorado. Arsenal connections. The stach owns a controlling stake in Arsenal, as well as full control of the Rapids. Vela was recruited early by Arsenal and played for them for a few years and was allowed to leave, but not without strings attached (as per many sources in England and Spain) and almost bought him back for the cheap a couple years back. He didn't return because he worried about his play time at Arsenal. Fast forward to now, I think the scouting network (yes, I believe they are separate, but do talk) between Colorado/Arsenal are still very high on Vela, especially for what they consider (this tier of football). I don't know if Vela will have consideration for the Arsenal connection, but he left with very high positives about the way Arsene and Arsenal conducted business in his case with letting him go to Spain. Because of all this, I am probably thinking, there is something about him going to Colorado that already smells cooked, IF they can agree on a price because you can't buy a player this good for $5m.

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