Two strikers could arrive in Manchester this week.
Manchester United are on the verge of announcing Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s arrival with his contract with Paris Saint-Germain set to expire.
Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola is close to welcoming Spanish forward Nolito to the Etihad Stadium. The pair worked together at Barcelona - Guardiola gave the Celta Vigo man his debut in 2010 - and Nolito is expected to compete a £13.8 million switch.
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The Daily Mail claim the 29-year-old has booked a hotel in Manchester, with the Citizens hoping to wrap up a deal within 48 hours.
Nolito, who played in each of Spain’s four games at the European Championship, will sign a three-year contract with Manchester City.
The striker expressed his delight when asked about the move by a reporter.
“It is a matter of pride if two major coaches like Luis Enrique and Guardiola notice you and are interested.
“I am lucky that I am being considered, and that strengthens me.”
Barring a drastic change to Guardiola’s tactics, Nolito will see plenty of time on City’s bench; Sergio Aguero is the clear first-choice striker at the club.
Mocked by United fans
Despite firing Celta Vigo to Europa League qualification, United fans couldn’t help expressing their delight at their rivals’ incoming signing.
There is a clear gulf in the talents of Nolito and Ibrahimovic. For a start, the Swede scored 26 more league goals than the Spaniard last season.
Ibrahimovic, 34, has won titles in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France. By comparison, Nolito can count a La Liga winners medal in 2011 as his only league triumph, and he only made two appearances for Barcelona in that campaign.
Guardiola may see Nolito as merely a backup, but United supporters couldn’t help but rub it in. Check out the best reaction below.
Mourinho v Guardiola
Of course, this won’t be the last time United and City fans attempt to out-do each other’s transfers. They are arch enemies, and the rivalry is only intensified by the two men who will stand in the dugout next season.
Guardiola and Jose Mourinho clashed when they were the respective managers of Barcelona and Real Madrid, and Premier League viewers can’t wait to see the pair come head-to-head next season.
It was clear during their battles that Mourinho was able to get under Guardiola’s skin, but the Spaniard’s assistant, Domenec Torrent, reckons there is nothing Mourinho can do to fluster Guardiola now.
“Asides from the famous press conference [before a Champions League semi-final in 2011] if there was anything between them it was from Mourinho towards Guardiola,” Torrent told El Punt Avui, per the Daily Mail.
“Manchester is a small place and I'm sure we will coincide [with him] in restaurants. One day he can pay and another day Pep and I will pay.
“I think Pep is past being spooked by anything. You just get on with your work and control everything that is in your power to control.”
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