We’ve recently been linked with a move for Celta Viga star Nolito, who has been in fine form since his return to La Liga. And the Spanish forward’s teammate Hugo Mallo has given us a bit of a boost in our pursuit, insisting that it may be tricky for Celta to hold onto their star striker this January, as reported by Spanish publication El Faro de Vigo (via IBT)
IBT claims we are just one of the teams interested in his signature, with his old club Barcelona also keen. The 28-year-old has a £13.5m (via IBT) release clause – which could rise to £18.5m if the new deal being touted goes through – and his recent goal record suggests that’s more than reasonable.
Another report from AS suggests we are leading the hunt for his signature, with Barcelona struggling for funds.
If we really are leading the pack, then it seems there is very little standing in our way. The only question is whether Nolito is the right player for us, and whether Arsene Wenger is keen on the striker.
Mallo certainly seems to think Nolito could be on his way out this January, and knows full well it will be difficult to retain him.
“You never know what will happen,” Mallo said.
“I’m not in a position to comment on this and will keep my opinion to myself. I don’t think Nolito will pay too much attention to these reports. If he continues at this level it will be difficult to retain him. But also [Fabian] Orellana or Iago [Aspas]. They’re playing very well. This attracted the interest from other clubs. But they are happy here and our hopes is that they are willing to stay with us.”
We arguably aren’t as badly in need of a striker anymore, with Theo Walcott impressing so far this season. We should certainly still be keeping our eyes out for a world class forward, but is Nolito that player?
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It’s questionable whether the Spanish international is really much of an upgrade on our current options, and we shouldn’t be wasting close to £20m on a squad player.