Barcelona director of football Robert Fernandez has warned Arsene Wenger that the Catalan giants will make a new signing during the January transfer window with Arsenal target Nolito a possibility. The club are in desperate need of a versatile forward to fill the gap left by the departure of Pedro to Chelsea.
"We've got time to think about whether we want to sign anyone and that's what's most important. We're assessing things because it's our duty and we have the time to do so. We're looking into the possibility of signing someone, but we have to think very carefully about it. The winter window isn't an easy time to do business and there are lots of things to consider," Fernandez said to Catalunya Radio.
Asked whether Nolito is the top target, he said: "He's a good player, we're seeing as much every Sunday. He is in good form and indeed is in the national team. But he has asked to be left in peace and that is what we have done. He has a contract and is not good to speak about him."
Meanwhile, in another interview with Cadena Ser, Fernandez suggests it is likely Barcelona boss Luis Enrique will have him in his ranks. Questioned on whether the manager has demanded his arrival, he said: "Luis Enrique wants always to improve the team and try to make it more competitive.
"We always have to think about that possibility, of course there is that possibility. I can not say no [that he has demanded his signing], but I can not say yes. We are working to make things right and not get in a rush. The winter market is a difficult market."
The Champions League winners were heavily linked with the Celta Vigo star during the summer transfer window following Pedro's exit. However, having already signed Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal, the club decided to postpone any further transfer business as due to a Fifa transfer ban, their signings would not have been able to play until January 2016.
Luis Enrique recently added fuel to the speculation after admitting his admiration for the player, having managed him during his time at Barcelona's second team and at Celta. But Sport suggested Barcelona were ready to pull of the race to secure his services and turn their attention to a cheaper and younger alternative as they were not willing to pay his €24m (£17.8m, $27m) release clause.
The Catalan newspaper added he could join Arsenal instead as the Gunners had already approached the player. The Mirror later confirmed the news while adding the Gunners were weighing up a £14m bid to secure his services in January.