Barcelona are now prepared to wait until the summer to secure the services of Celta Vigo sensation Nolito, as the forward is no longer part of Arsene Wenger's plans for the January transfer window, reports Mundo Deportivo. The 29-year-old Spain international has been linked to both Arsenal and Barca in recent months, after an impressive start to the season saw him score eight goals and provide five assists in 15 La Liga appearances.
Luis Enrique, who coached the player with both the Barcelona B team and at Celta, has made no secret of his desire to bring the player back to the Nou Camp. However, Spanish insiders have claimed that the Catalans are unable to make any investment due to their self-imposed financial restrictions, leaving Arsenal in pole position to secure his services instead.
Earlier in December both The Mirror and Mundo Deportivo reported the Gunners had opened negotiations over a move. The Spanish publication suggested that Arsenal had made a £14m ($20.5m) bid to the La Liga outfit, offering the player the chance to triple his current wage bill in an effort to convince him to turn down his first choice of a move to Barca.
But Mundo Deportivo now believe the situation has turned, and that the Spaniard is no longer a "priority" signing for Arsenal, with Wenger having other options in mind.
Instead, the Spanish publication says an unnamed Serie A club are making enquiries about Nolito's situation. Should neither Arsenal or the Italian outfit secure the player's services in the January mercato, they believe Barcelona would make a major effort to sign him in the summer.