The Spanish broadsheet claims further that Arsenal will take advantage of Barcelona’s economic situation, and will meet the Spaniard’s release clause with “pleasure”, according to the report.
The European champions were initially tipped as favourites to land Nolito, who had a three-year spell at the Camp Nou between 2008 and 2011, but now it appears the 29-year old could be plying his trade in the Premier League come January.
The Spain international has been in superb form for Celta so far this season, notching 7 goals in 11 La Liga outings as his current side surprisingly sit fourth on the table.
Nolito’s form has enchanted Arsenal boss Arséne Wenger who is looking to add some more qualities to his side following the injury woes which has bedevilled them – making Olivier Giroud the only fit striker, with English duo of Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck battling injury problems.
The aforementioned source claims boss Luis Enrique is currently embroiled in a battle with the Barça board to free up funds meant for the purchase of Nolito, but the Catalan side have opted not to loosen their purse strings and have offered their manager cheaper alternatives to change his mind.
There are claims former Liverpool star Dirk Kuyt and ex-Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie have been put forward to Enrique. However, Nolito remains the former Roma boss’ priority signing.
But Arsenal are reportedly hellbent on landing Nolito that, as per the Express [citing Mundo Deportivo], the north Londoners have decided to triple the Spaniard’s wages in order to lure him to the Emirates.
Wenger is ready to match Nolito’s £12.6m release clause, as he seeks to push for the title this season. The Frenchman received flaks for being the only manager to not sign a single outfield player out of all top sides in Europe’s top five leagues in the summer.
Arsenal can go top of the Premier League table if they defeat West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, as the Gunners currently sit second on the Premier League log – level on points with leaders Manchester City.