Manchester City have beaten Barcelona to the signing of Spain Forward Nolito on a four-year deal. The forward has chosen to work under Pep Guardiola again after previously doing so at the Catalan club, making this City’s third summer signing.
City’s new manager Guardiola has already brought in Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund for £20m, as well as Australian midfielder Aaron Mooy.
30-year-old Nolito was given his Barça debut by Guardiola in the 2010-11 season when the Spaniard was in charge at the Camp Nou. Barcelona were intent on taking him back to the club. But in an indicator of Guardiola’s attraction, it is understood that Nolito decided to join City from Celta Vigo instead, the club triggering his release clause of around £14m and the player agreeing a four-year contract.
Nolito, who is really excited about reuniting with his former boss, said he thinks that Pep Guardiola is one of the best managers in the world
“I’m very fortunate that it was he who handed me my debut at Barcelona. I know him a little, I was with him for a short while whenever he got me to train with the first team or included me in the playing squad. I think that Pep Guardiola is one of the best managers in the world. He knows a lot about the game and he’s going to help me progress as a player and I’m sure he’ll get the best out of me.
“It was a really satisfying feeling when I heard of City’s and Pep’s interest in me, and also that of Txiki [Begiristain, sporting director]. It’s something I’m really excited about and so here we are.”
He said he hopes to perform well when he gets featured and to be amongst the goal scorers. “Let’s hope that I can score whenever I make my debut, but firstly that we win the game,” he said “That would then be the dream debut and the perfect start,” he added.
The forward, who has won 13 caps for his country, became a top target for Guardiola after making 34 appearances for Celta last season, scoring 13 goals.
Nolito featured in all four of Spain’s matches at Euro 2016 before they were knocked out in the last 16 by Italy.