Manchester City have announced the signing of Spain winger Nolito on a four-year deal from Celta Vigo after activating his £13.8 million release clause.
Nolito becomes Pep Guardiola’s second major signing of the summer in a deal that has been expected for weeks now, after being reported by Spanish TV presenter Manu Carreño on June 13 prior to Spain vs. Czech Republic.
29-year-old Nolito, whose full name is Manuel Agudo Durán, is something of a late bloomer, having had a fairly ordinary career until breaking out at Celta Vigo following his move from Benfica in 2013. In La Liga alone, Nolito has hit double figures in the past three seasons cutting in from the left wing, scoring 37 goals, while also registering 22 assists for the Galician side.
His stunning form in recent seasons drew the interest of Barcelona, with his former Celta coach Luis Enrique identifying Nolito as a target last season, but financial difficults meant a return to Barcelona didn’t pan out.
His performances have also earned him a regular spot in the Spanish national team, and he was part of Spain’s Euro 2016 campaign, scoring and assisting a goal against Turkey during the group stage.
Unless Pep Guardiola opts to moves either of the two, Nolito will compete with Raheem Sterling for a place on the left flank, and the hope will be he adds more goals from midfield to ease the burden on star striker Sergio Agüero.