Nolito: Barcelona return was close


Nolito has confirmed he was close to joining Barcelona in the close season before eventually ending up at Manchester City with Pep Guardiola.

The Spain international had been strongly linked with a return to Camp Nou five years on from leaving Barca for Benfica and has admitted it was a move that almost came to fruition.

"I was close to Barcelona," he told Mundo Deportivo. "But in the end I decided to go to Manchester City.

"I think it was the best decision for me and my family and I am happy to play for City."

Nolito's move meant he once again linked up with Guardiola, who sanctioned his sale to Benfica when the Spaniard was Barca coach.

"[Our relationship is] good, pretty good, I'm not complaining," he added. "It's a privilege for me to work with him and I try to learn every day and take advantage of the opportunities he is giving me."