Barcelona boss Luis Enrique is set to raid his former club Celta Vigo in order to replace departing star Pedro. 28-year-old Nolito would be returning to Barcelona having first played for them under current boss Luis Enrique in the B side.
In 2013 he followed Enrique to Celta Vigo and became a vital component in their side scoring 14 goals in his debut season leading them to an impressive ninth place finish.
His form continued into last season helping the side into an even better eighth place finish and has caught the eye of former club Barcelona who are on the search for a replacement for Pedro.
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The Spanish side would be looking to pay £9.8 million and The Express report that it would only go through if Pedro departs.
Any deal would see the winger then loaned back to Celta Vigo until January with Barcelona currently under a transfer embargo that prevents them from signing and registering players this year.
Nolito was a late bloomer with his spell in the Barcelona B team reaping no rewards; he only featured for the first team on two occasions and a mildly successful season at Benfica followed.
It was not until reuniting with former coach Enrique that he truly began to hit the heights expected off him. The move seemed to give him a boost in confidence and he has revelled in being a key player for the Spanish side. This form resulted in his international debut for Spain against Germany last year.
Waiting in the wings
Barcelona are still confident of retaining home grown Pedro and no official bid has been made from United, however, they appear to have Nolito waiting in the wings regardless.
Nolito will join the likes of both Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique in returning to Barcelona following youth careers at the side. But previous issues regarding confidence could resurface if he is regularly playing second fiddle to Barcelona’s other attacking players.
He would not be the first to struggle for this reason with both Ibrahim Afellay and Alex Song struggling at Barcelona having signed to provide competition to their star studded side.
The winger is yet to feature for Celta Vigo in pre season and The Marca report that despite training normally with his teammates he is still on the official injury list, hinting at a possible exit.