According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t the Daily Telegraph), the Gunners are not the favourites to secure the gifted winger in the final embers of the transfer window, with the 29-year-old’s release clause of £13.7 million said to be a "stumbling block."
It’s suggested Nolito, despite also attracting interest from the aforementioned sides, may have to wait until the summer before moving.
Although the sum mooted may seem a lot for a player who is past what are regarded as his peak years, in Nolito the Gunners would potentially be getting a gem of a footballer. Here is a look at what he could bring to the Emirates Stadium:
Indeed, the former Barcelona and Benfica man is someone who seems to be getting better with age. He’s not a slow player by any means, but his trickery, intelligence on the flanks and end product have made him one of the most feared creators in European football.
As we can see here, courtesy of WhoScored.com, in the last couple of campaigns the Spain international has upped his game superbly:
Although Arsenal are pretty well stocked when it comes to attacking midfielders, a player such as Nolito coming in mid-season would give everyone at the club a lift. The winger is that kind of player, after all, as he gets supporters off their seats and provides chances aplenty for his team-mates; he’d be a hugely popular acquisition.
Indeed, for the Gunners’ goalscorers, having a player who possesses such ingenuity in possession would be a huge positive, per OptaJose:
43 - Only Neymar (62) has created more goalscoring chances than Nolito (43) in La Liga this season. Dream.— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 13, 2016
It doesn’t seem as though the player is likely to end up at the Emirates Stadium before the window shuts, though, or any other club for that matter. According to Moises Llorens of AS, Barcelona have had an offer rejected for the player already this month, and after moving on Augusto Fernandez to Atletico Madrid recently, the Galicians will be keen to keep their talisman on board.
Mathieu Debuchy in Talks with Aston Villa
Arsenal’s out-of-favour full-back Mathieu Debuchy reportedly held talks with Aston Villa on Friday evening ahead of a potential loan move.
As reported by John Cross of the Daily Mirror, the French international is free to leave the Emirates Stadium this month on a temporary basis. "Villa will have to pay around £1.5m in loan fee and take on his £60,000-a-week wages which has been a major stumbling block for other clubs," he writes, also noting Roma, Monaco, Sunderland and Bayer Leverkusen have shown an interest.
Debuchy is a right-back who divides opinion, but he has been a steady performer at Arsenal when given the chance. Michael Cox of Zonal Marking believes the player possesses many virtues:
Indeed, French national team manager Didier Deschamps is definitely a fan. The former Newcastle United player has been a key member of the national side under his tutelage and will be keen to play a significant part in the European Championships in the summer, which will be hosted by his nation.
Needless to say, with one of the most talented squads in the competition, it’s no wonder Debuchy is intent on securing regular football elsewhere, and it’s something Villa will be able to offer as they seek to perform a miraculous escape act from the bottom of the Premier League table.
Still, while having a relegation on your record is far from desirable, on a temporary basis it’s a move that makes sense for the 30-year-old.