Barcelona striker Nolito is Newcastle’s new target to replace the gaping hole in the Toon’s forward line left by Andy Carroll, according to The Metro.
The forward has only received two starts in the first Barcelona team this season, but has 12 goals and eight assists after 29 games in the reserves side.
Contract talks have stalled with the 24 year old, with Barcelona Vice President Josep Maria Bartomeu admitting that although the Spanish giants wanted to keep the forward, Nolito wants more starts in the first team.
“We have offered him a contract extension, but he didn't accept it,” Bartomeu said.
“We would love to keep him at the club, but he has turned us down.”
Newcastle sold striker Andy Carroll to Liverpool in January for a record transfer fee of £35 million, and while the money from the Liverpool sale has been promised to be reinvested, Nolito would be a bargain replacement for Carroll at £2 million, and leave Newcastle manager Alan Pardew a lot leftover to buy other players.
The problem with the transfer is Nolito’s lack of experience with the Barcelona first team, though the reserve team for the Catalans is indeed impressive in it’s own right.
With the Newcastle squad currently stretched to it’s limits with injuries and suspensions, as well as Carroll’s departure to Liverpool, Nolito’s small fee makes him attractive to Pardew to keep in the wings and fill gaps when needed.