Pep Guardiola is hoping to pip his old club Barcelona to the signing of Spain striker Nolito who now has five goals and four assists in his 12-game international career.
The 29-year-old is set to leave Celta Vigo this summer and Pep Guardiola and Txiki Begiristain are determined to do everything they can to land the former Barça B striker whose buy-out clause means he is available for £14.1million
Nolito scored one goal and set up one inside three minutes for Spain in the first half against Turkey on Friday — running Andrés Iniesta close as UEFA man of the match.
Spain played with David Silva, Alvaro Morata and Nolito in attack and Guardiola wants a Silva, Sergio Aguero, Nolito front three at City.
Barcelona are the biggest threat to City landing their target. They 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 Barça B and when he managed Celta Vigo. But there is opposition at Barcelona to the club spending big on a player who will be 30 in October.
Nolito also has reservations about joining a club where he would not be first choice, signed more as back-up for Leo Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar. That could yet play in City’s favour.