Celta Vigo striker Nolito has reportedly agreed to join Manchester City on a three-year deal as soon as Euro 2016 ends giving Pep Guardiola his first big attacking signing of the summer.
The former Barca B striker whose buy-out clause means he is available for just £14.1million (€18m) was in Spain’s starting line-up for Tuesday’s third group game against Croatia and went into the match with a record of five goals and four assists in 12 games for his country.
Guardiola sees him as capable of playing in a City front-three alongside fellow Spain star David Silva and Sergio Aguero but also capable of playing through the middle and generally being a hugely valuable player at such a bargain price.
Barcelona almost signed Nolito in January but could not afford the fee at the time.
Coach Luis Enrique is a massive fan and has worked with the player both when he coached Barca B and when he managed Celta Vigo.
But he has encountered opposition from the Barca board baulking at spending on a player who will be 30 in October and who would primarily be back-up for Leo Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
The player is also understood to have seen his path to regular football blocked by Barca’s big three forwards and been convinced by the City option as soon as he was informed of Guardiola’s interest.
Nolito, full-name Manuel Agudo Duran, was given his full Barcelona debut back in 2010 by Guardiola.