A chance to reunite with new Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and the lure of Premier League football made Nolito opt for a move to England over a return to Spanish champions Barcelona, the winger has said.
Nolito spent one season under Guardiola at Barcelona but was used sparingly by the manager, who gave the 29-year-old just two substitute appearances during the entire 2010/11 campaign before selling him to Portuguese side Benfica.
“The truth is I enjoyed working with him in Barcelona even though it wasn’t much time. It’s a reason for me to come here but not the only one.
“But it was also about City, they have a great team ... the truth is I will try to help this club achieve great things. I am very proud of Barcelona’s interest but now I am here and I think I made the best decision to come here.
“I have come to the Premier League to play with City and under Guardiola, who will play me in the first team, and I am very happy with the decision I took.”
Big-spending City are in the midst of a major rebuild after they stumbled to a fourth-place finish in a disappointing 2015/16 campaign, having added four players, including Nolito and German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, to their ranks.
Former Bayern Munich coach Guardiola will open his first season in England with a home clash against David Moyes' Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium on August 13.
Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE
Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNationalSport