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Lure of Guardiola reunion sealed Man City move for Nolito

Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - Spain News Conference - Complexe Sportif Marcel Gaillard, Saint Martin de Re, France - 24/6/16 - Spain's Nolito arrives for a news conference. REUTERS/Albert Gea/Files
Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - Spain News Conference - Complexe Sportif Marcel Gaillard, Saint Martin de Re, France - 24/6/16 - Spain's Nolito arrives for a news conference. REUTERS/Albert Gea/Files

REUTERS - 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 Guendogan, 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.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien)

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