Yesterday, news emerged that Manchester City were a ‘step away’ from signing Spain international Nolito from Celta Vigo.
The source of that information was Manu Carreño on Tele5, at the beginning of the Spain vs Czech Republic broadcast, and was met with a healthy dose of scepticism. When Nolito himself was asked, he said, “This is news to me!”.
Rumour dead? Not quite. Last night, another journalist in Spain chimed in with matching information. Quim Domènech Puigbó told El Chiringuito TV that not only does Pep Guardiola want to sign the 29-year-old, but Nolito himself is eager for a move to the Etihad and his future could be defined in the coming days.
Nolito has been something of a late bloomer in La Liga with three spectacular seasons for the Galician club. He has been regularly reported as a major target for Barcelona, who tried to sign him in January as competition and cover for Messi, Neymar and Suarez. Nolito has hit double figures from the left wing three seasons running, but also provides a large number of assists. In the past two seasons, the Celta star has totalled 20 assists on top of 25 goals in the Spanish league alone. He also has 4 goals in 10 appearances for Spain and started their Euro 2016 opener.
This had the feel of a typical summer transfer rumour that would be quickly dismissed, but news from a second source in Spain now makes one wonder if Nolito could in fact be on his way to the Etihad.
UPDATE: Mundo Deportivo also ‘confirm’ Pep Guardiola’s interest in Nolito, saying Manchester City are willing to offer him a 3 + 1 year contract. His release clause is around £14 million.