European powerhouses Arsenal and Barcelona are locked in the battle for Celta Vigo forward Nolito, El Mundo Deportivo has learned.
It is no secret that the Catalans are keen to lure the Spain international back to Camp Nou, but the problem is they are cash strapped at the moment and cannot afford to match his asking price.
On the other hand, Arsenal and an unnamed Italian side are ready to meet the €18 million release clause, which places an extra pressure on the Spanish champions.
Knowing that they will have money to spend at the end of the season, Barcelona have offered to pay around €20 million for their primary target, provided the first installment is paid in the summer.
If they fail to reach an agreement for Nolito, the Catalans will turn their attention to another former player, Denis Suarez.
Barcelona have the option to buy the player back for €3 million in the summer, but they would prefer to get him as early as this month if the move for Nolito falls through.