Atletico Madrid are reportedly ready to swoop for Celta Vigo’s Nolito, exploiting a stand-off between the Galicians and Barcelona.
AS notes Barcelona’s long-term interest in the Spain international but also repeats the Catalans don’t want to pay Nolito’s €18m clause, but Celta are demanding the clause be met if Nolito is to be sold as relations between the club and the player, and Barca and Celta, aren’t good.
Nolito and Celta fell out over attempts to renew his contract through last season and Barca and Celta President Carlos Mourino aren’t on good terms either.
Atletico could then enter the frame and were chasing Nolito a year ago, but instead focused on getting Luciano Vietto from Villarreal, but Diego Simeone remains a fan.
The Madrid club are aware that Celta won’t negotiate for Nolito and don’t want players to be offered in part-exchange, and are willing to pay the €18m to meet a wish of the Coach.
Atletico intend on getting a deal done as quickly as possible with Euro 2016 in mind, as there’s a concern that strong performances from Nolito will see interest in his signature explode, or lead the player to command a higher wage.
Celta and Atleti aren’t the best of friends after Atleti took Augusto Fernandez from Balaidos to Vincente Calderon in January, but AS suggests a swift and smooth deal for Nolito could normalise relations.
Sport meanwhile report that the deal between Barca and Nolito struck in January still stands but the club have had to make other positions, particularly the centre of defence, their priority.