Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has appeared to rule out a January move for Los Angeles FC forward Carlos Vela.
Now aged 30, Vela netted a total of 66 La Liga goals for Real Sociedad across seven seasons having initially joined the club from Arsenal in 2011.
The Mexico international has netted 53 goals in 66 appearances for Los Angeles since moving to MLS from Real Sociedad in January 2018 but has once more been linked with a return to Spanish football.
“I remember that last year was an option that emerged and there was talk about it, but now we are not in the transfer market but we have the players we have,” Valverde told his press conference, as cited by ESPN Deportes.
Last week, Vela explained to the New York Times, as cited by Marca: “It (a move to Barcelona) was really close. Who could say no to play with Messi for four months and then return to Los Angeles? Enjoy, learn and then come home.”
The Blaugrana eventually opted to land Kevin-Prince Boateng on loan from Sassuolo instead of a move for Vela last time out.
Vela, now aged 30, has been in the form of his life in MLS this season – netting a remarkable 36 goals in 32 league appearances but has not featured for Mexico since the 2018 World Cup.