Los Angeles FC's Mexican striker was on holiday when Barcelona expressed an interest in signing him and a move wasn't far from going through.
The 30-year-old, once of Arsenal, was linked with a loan move to Camp Nou at the start of 2019 after impressing for LAFC in his debut campaign in the MLS in the United States.
Vela scored 14 goals & assisted 10 more in 2018 and admits that he would have snapped up the opportunity of a January transfer to the Nou Camp, who ended their interest in Vela in favour of a move for Ghanian Kevin-Prince Boateng.
"It was really close," he told BS The Podcast. "My second month for holidays, I was there with my pina colada and my agent called me to say 'look, Barcelona is calling you. They want you to play for four months then you can go back to LA'.
"I said just say yes, I don't care about the money or nothing. I'm going to start training tomorrow, give me two weeks to be a little bit fit.
"Barcelona, Real Madrid you can't say no... If it was only my choice, for sure, I'd take it."
Vela has continued where he left off last season with 27 goals in the MLS, and he has built up quite the rivalry with LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Vela has outlined his desire to now see out his playing days in the United States.
"It's not only the things I want, but football is also a business and you know how it works. But, if I have everything, I want to be here for the rest of my career," he said.
"I'm really happy here, playing in LA. I want to be here."