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Vela 'not returning to Arsenal'
Carlos Vela will not be returning to Arsenal this summer, the striker's Real Sociedad team-mate Antoine Griezmann has told ESPN.
Vela left the Emirates Stadium in 2011 for around £2.4 million, but Arsenal can activate a clause in his contract to bring him back for £3.2m - a tempting price given he scored 16 goals in 37 La Liga games last season.
Talks between the two clubs have continued through recent weeks and the striker had looked likely to return to the Emirates. However, Sociedad have remained hopeful of keeping him and it is claimed Arsenal are now seeking a pay-off to give up their option to take back their former player.
Vela admitted in May he would think long and hard over whether to return to Arsenal and Griezmann's comments suggest that his reservations about a return have been decisivie.
"[Vela] is relaxed," Griezmann told ESPN Mexico. "He has already signed with la Real and you can see he is happy."
Earlier this month, Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay said Arsenal had informed the club that Vela would be with them next season.
Vela, 25, previously signed for Arsenal in January 2006 as a 17-year-old, but the club failed to gain a work permit. He was shipped out on loan to Salamanca and Osasuna before finally making his Arsenal debut in 2008.
He had further loan spells at West Bromwich Albion and Sociedad, before making that move permanent in 2011. He scored just 11 goals in his six years in north London.
Vela was not selected to join Mexico's World Cup squad after repeatedly declining call-ups during qualifying.