Barcelona are close to the signing of Celta Vigo forward Nolito reports Mundo Deportivo. Nolito was also a target for Arsenal and reportedly had an offer from the English side on the table but it seems that Nolito has chosen to snub interest from Arsenal and join his former club Barcelona.
Luis Enrique has admitted that Barcelona are in the market for attacking options (because they only have Messi,Neymar and Suarez) and it is believed that Nolito is his number 1 target as he has worked with Nolito on 2 occasions in the past – Barcelona B and Celta Vigo.
Barcelona want to bring him on loan for the rest of the season due to their weak financial position which would prevent them from spending heavily in this window but are willing to pay over the odds in the summer to sign Nolito permanently. They are willing to offer as much as £20m for him in the summer.
Arsenal wanted to sign Nolito in this window to boost their attacking options and were believed to be ready to activate his release clause by paying £13.2m. The Gunners felt that they had a chance because of Barcelona’s limited finances. However, Nolito now looks set to seal his dream move and join Barcelona. He has scored 8 goals in 15 games this season.
Nolito played 3 seasons for the Barcelona B team and even featured in 5 games for the senior squad. Unfortunately, Nolito failed to make a mark at that time and would be hoping for a different experience this time around. Munir El Haddadi or Sandro Ramirez are expected to go on loan the other way as a part of the deal.
Nolito would definitely have more game time at Arsenal than he is going to get at Barcelona as the latter have the 3 of best attacking players in Messi, Neymar and Suarez and it would be almost impossible for him to force his way into the starting line up if MSN carry on the way they have been playing. Arsenal on the other hand lack attacking options and have many players on the sidelines. Wenger was keen on getting Nolito on board and it would be interesting to see who Wenger moves for now that Nolito has gotten away.