Reports in the Spanish press are linking Arsenal with an "astronomical bid" to land Celta Vigo star Nolito in the January transfer window, tripling his current wages. Mundo Deportivo believes, however, that the forward is waiting to see what Barcelona's plans are first, as he would prefer a return to the Nou Camp than a move to England.
Nolito has been linked with a return to the current Champions League holders since last summer, with manager Luis Enrique reportedly earmarking him as the top target to fill the gap left by the departure of Pedro to Chelsea. Enrique had already coached Nolito in both Barcelona's second team and at Vigo.
The 28-year-old admitted himself that he would love to return to his former club, saying the only way he would leave Celta would be to join the Catalan giants.
"I have had a lot of offers, financially they were very lucrative, but I am happy here," Nolito said in the summer. "I feel like a football player and I have noticed the affection of the fans. I'll repeat it again, either I go to Barcelona or I stay at Celta."
Barcelona postponed any move, however, as due to a Fifa transfer ban he would have been unable to play for the club until January 2016 – as is the case for both Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal.
Having scored five goals in the first seven games of the La La campaign, reports linked Arsenal, long in need of a confirmed goalscorer, as rivals for the player's signature.
Celta Vigo sporting director Miguel Torrecilla recently admitted that a deal would happen if any suitors met his release clause, which is currently £13.5m ($20.5m), although that is expected to increase to £18.5m with a new deal.
All that would remain, therefore, is for Arsenal or Barcelona to convince the player to move, and Mundo Deportivo believes that the Gunners will triple his wages to convince him to shun a move to his former side.
While Nolito is believed to be happy to move to Barcelona despite a lower wage on offer, the Nou Camp board are understood to be hesitant to pay £13.5 for a player who previously left them for free. Also, the Catalans are out of cash to make a major signing with in January, so they would need to cash-in on other squad members before even considering a move.