Barcelona are considering a move for Spanish international forward Nolito should Pedro Rodriguez make his long-rumoured move to Manchester United in the current transfer window.
Pedro has been heavily linked with the Old Trafford outfit after he himself admitted his future was uncertain at Nou Camp – having had his playing time hamstrung by the presence of superstars Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar in Luis Enrique's attack.
Louis van Gaal has earmarked the signing of a proven attacking quantity as a priority for the summer due to expected departure of Angel Di Maria to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Mirror recently claimed that the Premier League giants are ready to meet Pedro's release clause of £22m ($34.3m), taking Van Gaal's summer spending through the £100m barrier after previously signing Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin
Luis Enrique and Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu have both suggested in recent days that they would like to retain the services of Pedro, but would not force him to stay if the player asks them to leave – and his buyout clause is met.
"We've made it clear. The team is complete, the idea was to have the squad that we have now and we're not expecting any departures. If someone wants to leave, they will have to tell us, because we have no information about anyone wanting to do so. We haven't had any offers. If someone leaves, it will be because the player asks to. We don't want anyone to go", Bartomeu said.
But Mundo Deportivo suggests that Barcelona are already planning for life without Pedro. The Spanish publication says Barca are monitoring their former academy star Nolito with a view towards making a move for the Celta Vigo winger.
Nolito, 28, left Barcelona in summer 2011, ironically due to the fact that Pedro's presence in the first team was limiting his first team opportunities. He was managed by Luis Enrique during both his spells in the Barcelona B team and at Celta Vigo.
Having excelled since leaving the Nou Camp, he may welcome the chance to return to Barcelona during this transfer window – although he will be unable to play until January due to the Catalan side's Fifa transfer embargo.
Spanish media reports suggest that this would be a profitable move for Barca, as Pedro would bring in £22m while Nolito's release clause is set at just £12.7m.