Catolica boss' emotional farewell to City target Nunez

Marcelino Nunez (left) is reportedly close to joining Norwich City in a deal worth around $4million.

Marcelino Nunez (left) has reportedly played his last game in Chile ahead of a move to Norwich City. - Credit: PA Images

Universidad Catolica boss Ariel Holan has bid an emotional farewell to Norwich City target Marcelino Nunez after the midfielder played his final game for the Chilean club. 

The 22-year-old is reportedly set to travel to England for a medical on Tuesday ahead of finalising his move to Carrow Road.

 

Norwich are in the market for another central midfielder following the departure of Pierre Lees-Melou earlier this month. They did hold an interest in CF Montreal midfielder Ismael Kone but failed to agree personal terms with the 20-year-old.

Nunez played 73 minutes of Catolica's 1-0 win over Cobresal in the Chilean Premier League. He was given a standing ovation as he was substituted and enjoyed celebrations with supporters post-match. 

Nunez would become the second player this month to move from Universidad Catolica to Europe, following former teammate Diego Valencia, who signed for Italian outfit Salernitana. 

Speaking about Nunez prospective departure, Holan paid an emotional farewell to the midfielder. 

“It is difficult for me to answer about Marcelino, so hopefully it is the best for him," Holan told El Deportivo. "Absolutely. He is an excellent professional, he is a great guy and all this makes me very emotional.

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“Just to say that footballers of the category of (Diego) Valencia and Marcelino are not easy to replace. Nothing else."

Nunez plays alongside veteran Chilean international Mauricio Isla. 

The right-back has spent the majority of his career in Europe playing for Udinese, Juventus and had a loan spell with Queens Park Rangers in the 2014/15 campaign. 

He has backed Nunez to make a success of his time in England and believes the move, should it be completed, represents progress for the Chilean game more widely. 

"Congratulations to him," Isla said. 

"I lived it. I left Chile when I was 19 years old. We have talked about it together. It's a nice opportunity for him to make an impression, to enjoy it and it's a necessity for Chilean football, also with (Diego) Valencia and hopefully many more young player will hopefully also follow.

"He had a great campaign as a young man in Catolica and in the National Team he also played well and I hope with all my heart that he does well with all those who are leaving for Europe."