Celta Vigo sporting director Miguel Torrecilla has welcomed any club to meet Nolito's €18m (£12.7m, $19.3m) release clause during the January transfer window amid speculation linking the Spain international with both Barcelona and Arsenal. Torrecilla insisted Celta's intention was to retain their marquee star, but if his clause was met they would have no problem using their club record fee to find a replacement.
The 29-year-old forward has been linked with a return to the Nou Camp since the departure of Pedro to Chelsea. However, both Mundo Deportivo and The Mirror recently claimed the Catalan giants will face competition from The Gunners. The player has attracted the attention of Arsene Wenger following an impressive start to the season in which he has scored seven goals in 11 La Liga games, including strikes against Barca and Real Madrid.
Nolito himself has refused to commit his long-term future to Celta, although has admitted he is happy at the club for now. Meanwhile, Barcelona technical secretary Robert Fernandez has been quite open in his belief that there is a "real possibility" the club are after the versatile forward.
Torrecilla claimed earlier this season that Nolito was set to agree a new deal with the club, increasing his release clause from €18m to €25m. However, reports in Spain say negotiations have stalled as the player wants to wait until the January transfer window to make a decision.
Torrecilla has now clarified the situation, admitting the club would not stand in the way if Barcelona or any other side meet his release clause, which would represent great business for a 29-year-old star who was purchased from Benfica two years ago for just €2.5m.
"The January transfer window is there and [Nolito] is on the radar of many teams. It is normal. We are speaking about one of the best players in La Liga. If he stays it would be really good for Celta, if he leaves our obligation is to find the best replacement. If a club pay €18 or €25m for him it would be welcome, we bought him from Benfica for €2.5m," he said during a press conference.
"We are not concerned about the situation. If someone pays his clause. When have we sold someone for that money? If Barcelona comes to buy him? Well, it will be the most expensive transfer in our history. If he renews and raises the clause to €25 it will be a little bit more but as least we will get €18m. Maybe another club can come and pay his clause. There are more clubs than Barcelona."