Celta Vigo sporting director Miguel Torrecilla has said Barcelona will need to pay Nolito's full €18m (£13.8m, $19.6m) release clause if the Catalan giants wants to secure the services of the Spanish international. Torrecilla thus dismissed recent reports that they would be happy to let the 29-year-old leave on loan, with a mandatory clause for Barcelona to secure his services in the summer.
The Spain international has been tipped with a move to the Nou Camp since the departure of Pedro Rodriguez to Chelsea last summer. Manager Luis Enrique had reportedly earmarked him as his main choice to serve as back-up to the trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, having coached Nolito both at Celta and in Barcelona's second team.
But reports from Spain in October appeared to close the door on a possible move, saying the Catalan giants were unable to spend big in January due to the club's financial statutes.
Mundo Deportivo and Sport, however, hinted at a U-turn last week, saying Barca were ready to bypass that problem by getting the player's services on loan until the end of the campaign, signing him at the end of the season in a mandatory deal.
These reports said Barcelona would then pay Celta more than Nolito's €18m release clause as a compensation, with all parties seemingly keen on the deal. Celta's recent signing of Lyon forward Claudio Beauvue looked to pave the way for Nolito's departure.
But Celta's sporting director has put an end to those rumours, saying that the club will not negotiate Nolito's sale price.
"In the case of Nolito, Celta will stick to the clause," Torrecilla said during the presentation of Beauveu, as quoted by AS. "It is something simple and easy to respond to, there is a release clause and everything ends there. Whoever wants to take him now must pay the clause, there is no other option. Barcelona know perfectly that there is a clause to be paid. It is simple."
Celta manager Eduardo Berizzo had previously made similar statements, saying that the former Lyon forward has not joined the club to replace Nolito.
"Beauvue has arrived because we need him. His signing is not linked to Nolito's departure," the manager said, as quoted by Marca. "He hasn't joined to replace anyone."
The Catalan giants are also reportedly considering bringing Denis Suarez back from Villarreal as an alternative to Nolito. However, his current club look unlikely to negotiate the departure of the former Manchester City starlet.