Hotly pursued striker Nolito has revealed he is about to sign a new deal at Celta Digo, despite speculation linking him with a January move to Barcelona or Arsenal. The Spain international suggested he would like to play for the Catalan behemoths, but has insisted there was no contact from them.
Celta sporting director Miguel Torrecilla revealed in October that Nolito was set to sign a new deal at the club, increasing his release clause from €18m (£13m, $19.8m) to €25m. However, later in November the club chief admitted that negotiations for the new contract were on hold due to alleged interest from both the Gunners and the Nou Camp outfit.
The Mirror reported last week that the Gunners had already made an opening enquiry to secure his services, with rumours suggesting that Barca were unwilling to match the £13m release clause due to their own financial restrictions.
But now it seems that Nolito will sign a new deal with Celta, revealing that an agreement to raise his clause to €25m is just awaiting the final touches.
Asked by Marca Plus about the Barcelona rumours, he said: "They are just rumours. Let me be clear and unequivocal. I only know what I read in the press and what my friends tell me. I think if Barcelona really wanted me they would have called Celta and I am not aware of that.
"The only truth is that I am happy in Vigo and, therefore, with just minor details to be resolved I am going to renew my contract with Celta shortly."
Nolito, nevertheless, refused to close the door completely on a move to Barcelona. Some in Spain believe if he were to go to the Nou Camp he would damage his chances of being called up for Euro 2016, as he would just be a back-up for the deadly trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.
The player is aware of that risk but refused to state if he prefers to be a big fish at Celta or a smaller one with Barcelona.
"In life you never know what is best. I just know I'm here at Celta and that my decision is to renew," he said,
But asked whether he would rather to be the La Liga top scorer at Celta or win a Champions League with Barcelona as a back-up, he said: "I would love both. You don't win a Champions League in many lives. But I don't want to think about that because it hurts me and Celta have given me everything."
One way or another Nolito is expected to miss the rest of 2015 after suffering a hamstring injury during 1-0 win over Espanyol.