Liverpool have reportedly lodged a surprise bid to sign Celta Vigo forward Nolito.
According to TalkSport, the Reds have made an offer to Celta of €18 million (£13.7 million) for the 29-year-old as they attempt to bolster their attacking options.
Barcelona were previously seen as the front-runners to sign Nolito—who has netted eight goals and provided five assists in La Liga this season, per WhoScored.com—but their final offer was recently rejected, per Sport's Lluis Mascaro.
Arsenal have also been heavily linked with the Spaniard and, per TalkSport's report, both the Gunners and Liverpool "are willing to fork out the cash now [to sign Nolito] and have met their asking price."
Per Mascaro, Barca's final offer was to take Nolito on loan for the rest of the season with an option to sign him permanently at the end of the campaign—hardly an attractive bid.
However, Celta will undoubtedly be interested in Liverpool and Arsenal's reported offers, and it could then come down to which club the player prefers to move to.
Nolito would be a fine addition at Anfield as he is very experienced and a consistent goalscorer.
With manager Jurgen Klopp having been hit by a number of attacking injuries during his short tenure—to the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings—he could do with another creative star in his ranks.
As can be seen below, Nolito is both a clinical finisher and an adept provider:
Playing on the left flank, Nolito could form an effective link with the likes of Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, an attacking trio that would undoubtedly worry opposition defences.
While he is far from a spring chicken in footballing terms, he would still be a decent value buy at under £15 million as he must have at least a couple more good seasons left in him.
Arsenal's interest could cause a problem for Liverpool, but it looks as though the Reds have been proactive in their pursuit of Nolito, and they could yet get their man before the January transfer window closes next week.