Barcelona have made a final offer to secure the signing of Nolito on loan from Celta Vigo for the remainder of the campaign with an option to make the deal permanent over the summer, according to Sport. The Spanish publication claims that the Catalan giants have already reached an agreement with the 29-year-old forward over personal terms and now hope to convince the Galician side to accept their proposal before the end of the transfer window.
Nolito has been linked with a move to the Nou Camp since the summer departure of Pedro Rodriguez to Chelsea. Manager Luis Enrique has openly admitted his admiration for the player, having coached him both in Barcelona's second team and at Celta, and wants him to serve as a back-up for the MSN trio of by Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
The player has never hidden his desire to return to his former club, but Celta Vigo sporting director Miguel Torrecilla insisted last week that the only way Nolito would leave during this window is if Barcelona pay his full €18m, (£13.6m, $19.5m) release clause.
The problem is that the Catalan club cannot afford to pay that money – or any at all – during the recent transfer window due to the economic statues of the club, which state that any board that allows Ebitda (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation) multiplied by two to exceed the club's overall debt, must stand down.
Sport, therefore, claims that Barcelona have made a final offer to bypass that obstacle by getting the player's services completely "free" on loan until the end of the campaign, assuring Celta that in the summer they will give them the money.
The problem is that Barcelona can't either insert a mandatory clause to make the deal permanent at the end of the season because that figure would be included in this season's economic balance – and they need to pay the money after June 30. This way they have offered Celta a commitment to make the deal in the summer, with a fine to be paid as punishment if they renege.
Celta have the final word on the issue but the player's desire to move away could play a role, as Sport claims that he already reached an agreement with the Catalans to make the move weeks ago.
Mundo Deportivo, meanwhile, agreed that the offer with a "fine as compensation" is on the table, but claims Barcelona may also offer Celta Sandro, Sergi Samper or Munir as a bonus player to sweeten the deal.
Sport, meanwhile, adds that Barcelona have effectively ruled out the arrival of Denis Suarez during the current transfer window. The club will wait to get the Villarreal versatile midfielder in the summer when they have an option to buy him for around €3m – while now they would need to pay at least triple that figure.