Chances are quite good that Pep Guardiola will spend a significant amount of money (the plummeting-in-value British pound, to be specific) this summer, as the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager prepares for his debut season in the Premier League, at Manchester City.
With no doubt, Guardiola will — like every manager in the world — lean heavily on players with whom he’s familiar and/or previously worked. (Translation: expect a handful of Spaniards and/or Germans to arrive at the Etihad Stadium in the coming weeks and months.
One such player, Celta Vigo and Spanish national team attacker Nolito — Manuel Agudo Duran is his legal name — is reportedly close to making the move to the northwest of England after Guardiola and Co. satisfied the 29-year-old’s $20-million release clause. Nolito went so far as to imply a deal is in the works, but stopped short of calling himself a City player — quotes from the Guardian:
“We’ll see what happens with my future, but I’m not complaining about how things are going on the pitch for me. For now, I’ve not signed for City, I don’t lie – we’ll see.”
When asked if he had spoken to Guardiola, Nolito added: “No. In life you have to be brave and make decisions and I dedicate myself to playing football, which is my passion.”
Nolito is currently with the Spanish national team at EURO 2016, where he started all three of the two-time defending champions’ group stage games — scoring once and assisting once in the process — after notching 12 goals and seven assists (in 29 appearances) for Celta during the 2015-16 La Liga season. Nolito made two first-team appearances for Barcelona under Guardiola before leaving the club for Benfica in the summer of 2011. He would join former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan in Guardiola’s inaugural transfer window class.