Gunners once again favourites to land Nolito, as Barcelona look elsewhere 

Arsenal's pursuit of striker Nolito is fast becoming a saga to rank alongside the hunt for Karim Benzema, with the latest claim that Arsene Wenger is now ready to meet Nolito's £12.6m release clause.

And taking its cue from Spanish journal AS Diario, the Daily Express says Arsenal "have moved ahead of Barcelona" in the race to sign the 29-year-old sharpshooter.

With the Catalan club not in the best of financial health, it's reported that Arsenal "will take advantage" of their impecunious plight and meet the player's release clause without a backward glance.

The Celta Vigo frontman has long been a target for Barca boss Luis Enrique but AS Diario reports that the club's board will be keeping a tight hold on the purse strings in January when they will be allowed back on the transfer market following the lifting of their year-long ban.


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