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Vela staying at Sociedad after Arsenal deal

ESPN staff
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Carlos Vela has impressed in Spain for Real Sociedad this season © Getty Images
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Carlos Vela has said he is looking forward to a "great year" at Real Sociedad after a deal worth almost £9 million was completed with former club Arsenal, allowing him to stay in San Sebastian.

Arsenal are understood to have sold their half-stake in their former player for £8.8m, rising by a further £4m depending on the number of appearances Vela makes and the club's success.

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Vela's future had been up in the air after Arsenal threatened to exercise a £3.5m buy-back clause to him back to the Emirates, with a view to selling him on to another club for a profit.

But long-running talks between the two clubs aimed at resolving the issue have now been concluded, with Vela signing a new four year contract to keep him at Sociedad until 2018.

Vela, 25, previously signed for Arsenal in January 2006 as a 17-year-old, but the club failed to gain a work permit for him. 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 however, excelled in Spain last season, scoring 16 goals in 34 games, prompting Arsenal to consider recalling him.

"I have always said this is my home, I am very happy in San Sebastian, there is no place like this, and I told the president that when he asked me about my intentions," Vela said. "We were aware that it would not be easy, but fortunately it has been resolved well and all parties are happy.

"This club, this team, has the ambition to keep improving, and I am convinced that we will have an exciting year. Now it is up to me to enjoy the last days of my holidays with my family, to arrive in the right condition to prepare for a great year in the best way."

"Real Sociedad has reached an agreement with Arsenal for Carlos Vela," Sociedad said in a statement. "Real Sociedad have also reached an agreement with Carlos Vela to renew his contract for four seasons. The previous accord was to end in 2016. The Mexican attacker has already signed his new deal."

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