Arsenal have opened talks with Celta Vigo over a move for Nolito in January amid interest from Barcelona. The Gunners have been stung by a series of injuries to key players and are looking to invest in the upcoming transfer window to get their season back on track and keep their title hopes alive.
The Mirror reports that the Gunners have always been keen admirers of the forward but were intimated that Barcelona had established themselves as favourites for his signature which put them off in their pursuit. However, recent reports suggest that the La Liga leaders will not be able to afford the £15m ($23m) fee being touted for the Spaniard, giving the Gunners a clean run for his signature.
Nolito has been a surprise package for the La Liga club this season, scoring eight goals and assisting five and is capable of playing on the wings and through the middle. With Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck out, Nolito will give the Gunners some much needed depth on the wings and increase their potency up front, where they have been found wanting.
The north London club have won only one of their five games played in November, losing two and drawing the rest, putting them in a big soup in terms of league consolidation and Champions League qualification. Injuries to Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin have forced Arsene Wenger to bring in Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey through the middle, which has unbalanced the squad and led to a nervous performance against Sunderland in the weekend, where they prevailed following a few moments of quality from their star players.
Celta are trying their best to tie down Nolito to a new contract but the 29-year-old would rather move to England where his wages are expected to rise by a projected 250% and given his age, is likely to be his last professional contract in Europe's top flight. The player will be available for participation in Europe should the Gunners sail through into the knockouts with a victory by a margin of two goals or more against Olympiacos whom they face in Greece on Thursday, 10 December.