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 By Tom Marshall

Chivas couldn't compete with 'economic power of MLS' in Vela deal

Liga MX champions Chivas were outbid by incoming MLS outfit Los Angeles FC for Mexico international Carlos Vela, according to club CEO Jose Luis Higuera.

Current Real Sociedad forward Vela signed for LAFC in August and will join the team in the new year ahead of its debut 2018 season, but Chivas were also in the hunt for the 28-year-old.

Higuera stated on ESPN's Futbol Picante on Monday that a deal to bring Vela to the Guadalajara club had been "very close."

"We made contact with Vela and we were very close, but if they beat you to it, they beat you to it," Higuera said. "We can't compare ourselves or be irresponsible with the people, we don't have the economic power of MLS.

"The day that MLS decides to go for Europeans and to have a Champions [League], they have the power and money to do it and players dance for money.

"Players don't play and then see if they get paid, and even less so these days."

Carlos Vela has agreed to join Los Angeles FC in 2018.

Vela said in June that the doors were open to a potential return to Chivas, before deciding to join Los Angeles FC two months later.

Reigning Liga MX champions Chivas have been criticized for not strengthening the squad over the summer and have followed up the 2017 Clausura title with a disastrous Apertura, with the club down in 15th in the league and out of the playoff race.

Higuera said Vela wasn't the only Europe-based El Tri international that his club, which only fields Mexican nationals, talked to in the summer.

The club enquired about the availability of Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, said Higuera, but the striker, who moved from Bayer Leverkusen to West Ham in the off-season, didn't want to cut short his career in Europe to rejoin his boyhood team.

Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.

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