Arsenal transfer news: Arsenal could activate £3m buy-back clause in Carlos Vela's contract to land Real Sociedad team-mate Antoine Griezmann

Arsene Wenger looks certain to strengthen his attacking options in the summer and Vela could hold the key to landing 23-year-old Griezmann

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The Independent Football

Arsenal are reportedly plotting a complex move for their former striker Carlos Vela in an effort to land his Real Sociedad team-mate Antoine Griezmann, with Arsene Wenger finally prepared to strengthen the striker position as he looks to build on their FA Cup success.

Reports on Thursday suggested that Arsenal are willing to activate their £3m buy-back clause in Vela’s contract, before using the Mexican international in a swap deal with the club to land 23-year-old Griezmann.

The Daily Express claims that the plot is being considered by the Gunners, with the belief that if it fails they would still benefit from seeing Vela return given his impressive form in Spain.

Vela has netted 30 La Liga goals since joining Sociedad from Arsenal in 2012, and the once highly-rated youngster has shown signs that he is starting to develop into the player that Wenger had spoken to warmly of during his time at the Emirates. At just 25 years old, he would provide ample competition for current striker Olivier Giroud, as Arsenal look certain to strengthen their attacking options this summer.


It is believed that Griezmann favours a move to his homeland with Paris St-Germain, but Arsenal are hopeful that they can use Vela to force the Spanish club into choosing the recently crowned FA Cup winners as their preferred suitors to fend off the free-spending French champions.

Vela spent six years with Arsenal between 2005-11

But it is being reported by the Daily Mail that Vela’s current team-mate Griezmann remains their prime target, with Wenger confirming in March that there is interest in his services.

“We are following him [Griezmann] in great detail,” said Wenger. “He attracts other clubs as well but we follow him, he is a known commodity.”

Griezmann’s form has been equally as impressive, notching 46 league goals since breaking into the Sociedad first team back in 2009-10 when the club were promoted from the Segunda Division. This has led to the forward being called up to Laurent Blanc’s squad for the 2014 World Cup, where he will compete with the likes of Giroud and reported Arsenal targets Karim Benzema and Loic Remy for a starting berth.

Vela is also attracting interest from Manchester City, with the Premier League champions considering a move for the striker given he meets the home-grown regulations that will hamper City in the Champions League next season. Manuel Pellegrini’s side were hit by a squad limit reduction that will see them restricted to naming 21 players instead of the usual 25-man squad, although their home-grown contingent is expected to be reduced from eight to five.

Former Arsenal captain Fabregas has been linked with a return

The claims come on a busy day for Arsenal transfer news, as they have also been linked with a move for another former player in Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas. The midfielder, who captained the Gunners during his eight-year stay with them after the exit of club legend Thierry Henry, has been heavily linked with a Premier League return, although Arsenal will have to fight off interest from Manchester United if they are to see the 27-year-old return to his former home.