One-time £15m Liverpool target replaces recent £7m Liverpool signing

Nolito has replaced Iago Aspas at Celta Vigo this summer.

Spanish outfit Celta Vigo have completed the permanent acquisition of SL Benfica winger Manuel Agudo Duran; better known as ‘Nolito’ to you and me for an undisclosed fee on what is a four-year deal with the Galicians.

The signing could prove vital for the club as the 26-year-old former Barcelona man had an excellent spell on loan in La Liga last season with Granada; and with that in mind Celta moved fast to bring in the tricky attacker to help them move up from their fourth from bottom La Liga finish in 2012-13.

He also acts as a replacement to Celta’s outgoing star player Iago Aspas; who completed his transfer to Liverpool recently for a fee of £7 million.

Which is interesting; because just a couple of months ago Nolito was being linked with a move to Liverpool.

In fact back in April 2012 he was being linked at a price more than double the amount the Reds paid for the man he is replacing.

According to Portuguese reports Liverpool were ready to make a £15 million move for the Benfica player last summer before Kenny Dalglish was replaced by Brendan Rodgers and that rhetoric changed.

But last month the rumour reared its head once again.

And again it was for a considerable higher price than they paid for Aspas.

This time it was suggested that Rodgers’ was interested in bringing the player to Anfield for a fee in the region of £12.8 million; almost £6 million more than they paid for the man he now replaces at a side widely expected to fight relegation next season.

Judging by the mentality of Nolito in his mooted excitement at the move it is clear that expectations are not high for next season at the Balaidos:

"The goal for the club is to maintain top-flight status and I am not setting myself a target for goals." 

Now either the gulf in class is so vast between the Premier League and La Liga that a player who would be fighting for a top-four spot in England can only find place in a team battling relegation in Spain or Liverpool were never truly interested in signing Nolito this summer.

Personally, I am going to go with the latter, and anyway Aspas is a better all-round player anyway.

So Liverpool have certainly won out from these recent transfer dealings.

image: © grodal

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