With media outlets in Spain convinced Sevilla have struck a deal with Stoke City, which will see midfielder Steven N'Zonzi join the Europa League winners, Mark Hughes has reluctantly conceded his club are about to lose one of their key players, in comments to The Stoke Sentinel.
"Sevilla have obviously shown a huge interest in Steven. We are probably at a point where we can allow Steven to speak to Sevilla. That will happen in the next twenty-four hours or so."
"You would imagine at that point if the deal is correct, and is what we think it is, then the deal would probably be concluded and Steven will join Sevilla." Hughes admitted.
Spanish outlet AS initially reported a deal had been struck between the two clubs, late on Tuesday night. They also claimed N'Zonzi would move for as little as £4.3 million.
According to The Sentinel, the truer figure is closer to £7 million, whilst further reports from Sevilla based outlet El Desmarque, have indicated that figure will be increased with additional variables.
N'Zonzi has remained the primary midfield target to replace Stephan M'Bia, who left the Sanchez-Pizjuan on a free transfer, and has since penned a deal with Turkish side Trabzonspor.
Sevilla boss Unai Emery wanted a player with height, power and quality ball distribution, which lead sporting director Monchi to pull out all the stops for N'Zonzi, with the 26-year-old ticking all the right boxes.
A growing sense of urgency was also apparent for both clubs, with Stoke City preparing to jet off to Singapore next week, for the Asia Cup. Meanwhile, Sevilla head to La Manga for the first stage of their pre-season schedule on Friday.
Monchi and Sevilla have gradually chipped away at the resilience of Stoke City, who rejected an initial bid a few weeks ago, as being far beneath their valuations.
The willingness and desire of the player has also been a key factor, with N'Zonzi clear that he wants to play in the Champions League, which the Spanish club can offer him during the 2015-16 season.