Arsenal have made an approach to secure the services of La Liga joint top scorer Nolito ahead of the January transfer window, according to Sport. The Spanish newspaper reports that the Celta Vigo sensation has attracted the attention of Arsene Wenger after an impressive start to the campaign in La Liga, being currently the joint top scorer of the tournament alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema with five goals in six games – after netting 13 last season.
The 28-year-old versatile forward was heavily linked with a move to Barcelona over the summer as Luis Enrique identified him as the perfect man to fill the gap left by Pedro's departure to Chelsea. The Catalan giants, however, eventually decided to postpone his arrival as due to a Fifa transfer ban he would have been unable to play until January 2016 – as is the case for both Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal.
Following his impressive start to the campaign in La Liga and the number of injuries in the Catalan side, recent reports claimed that Barcelona were expected to renew their attempts to secure his services in the January transfer window. Nolito, nevertheless, already played under Luis Enrique for both the Catalan giants' B team and at Celta in the past so he would not need time to adapt to the passing game philosophy of the team.
But Sport now claims he could join Arsenal instead as Barcelona have changed their mind and will not make a new move for the Spanish international. The Catalan publication claim that even though the club like Nolito they are not ready to pay his €24m (£17.8m, $27m) release clause to have him and will turn their attention to a cheaper and younger alternative – paving the way for the Gunners.
Sport claims that "Arsenal have already approach the player and that the operation is feasible" because Barcelona will not enter into a race with the Premier League giants.
Nolito has previously claimed that should he leave Celta it would be to play at Barcelona. However, Sport claims that with the Catalans not interested in his services anymore he would be open to move to another bigger club to make a step forward in his career and sign a good contract. Furthermore, reports suggest that Celta may agree to negotiate his €24m buy-out clause too.