Celta Vigo will find it difficult to retain star striker Nolito if he continues his impressive form, according to club teammate Hugo Mallo.
The 28-year-old has scored five goals and has three assists to his name this season. He was the star player for his side as they defeated Barcelona 4-1 at home. The Spaniard scored one and setup the other two goals against the treble winners.
Spanish publication AS reports Barcelona and Arsenal are looking to sign Nolito in the January transfer window, who had a reported buyout clause of €18m. He signed an extension and his new buyout clause has been increased to €24m, according to Sport.
Nolito’s Celta teammate Mallo suggests the Spain international could be on his way out of the club, if either Arsene Wenger’s side or Barcelona come calling.
“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],” El Faro de Vigo reported Mallo as saying.
“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.”
“The team is calm. We know what Nolito thinks, that he wants to be here, he’s happy here. That’s pretty important and his family is happy here.
“In football you never know what will happen. Maybe nothing happen or maybe he leaves. We cannot say anything either for good or bad. Just that he is happy here and that he, right now, would be likely to stay here for many years.”
The Mirror claims the La Liga giants have decided to end their interest in the striker, which has paved way for Arsenal to make an approach. Wenger has only Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud as the two players up front, in the absence of injured Danny Welbeck. He can play on the wide position and so can his compatriot Walcott. Buying Nolito will give the Gunners manager more options in the attacking division up front.