Incoming Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has reportedly set his sights on long-time Barcelona target and Spain striker Nolito.
Nolito is currently in France as a part of his country’s European Championship contingent. The Celta Vigo striker is the latest player to be linked with a move to Manchester City, as the Citizens look to usher in a new era with Guardiola at the helm.
The 29 year old Spaniard has been heavily linked with Barcelona lately , with Arsenal also supposedly interested in the player, but they now face stiff competition from their former manager Pep Guardiola. According to the Daily Mail, Guardiola is ‘determined’ to bring the €18 million rated forward to Manchester City and set up an attacking lineup consisting of Sergio Aguero, Nolito and David Silva.
Current Barca manager Luis Enrique is reportedly a big fan of the Celta Vigo hit-man. Enrique will know of his quality and how to get the best out of him, having worked together in the Barcelona B setup and Celta Vigo. They both joined Os Celestes in the summer of 2013 and had a successful two years together.
Nolito To Barcelona?
NICE, FRANCE – JUNE 17: Nolito of Spain scores his sides second goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Turkey at Allianz Riviera Stadium on June 17, 2016 in Nice, France. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Nolito had a fine first season with the Portuguese giants Benfica after joining from Barcelona in 2011. The Spaniard scored 15 goals in 48 appearances to help them win the Taca Da Liga. But he only made 15 appearances for Benfica in the following season and was loaned out to Granada in the January transfer window of 2013. In the summer of 2013 he moved on to Celta Vigo and has since scored 39 goals in three seasons. He can be deployed as a second striker in a front two or on the left wing.
The Celta Vigo striker showed the world a glimpse of what he’s capable of against Turkey in Spain’s second Euro 2016 group game, scoring one and setting up another for Juventus forward Alvaro Morata, as Spain ran out 3-0 winners.
Barcelona were top contenders for Nolito’s signature in January, but were unable to meet his release clause at the time. The Blaugrana are in dire need of reinforcements for Messi, Neymar and Suarez, should one, or two of them were to get injured at the same time.