Sevilla coach Unai Emery has suggested that a move for striker Alvaro Negredo could be edging closer after he admitted a transfer would be “best for everyone”.
Negredo scored 25 goals in La Liga last season, bettered by just Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Radamel Falcao, but he has indicated that he would like to leave the club this summer.
Manchester City have been labelled as a possible suitor with new manager Manuel Pellegrini admitting his interest in the 27-year-old, while a bid from Atletico Madrid has already been rejected by the club.
President Jose Maria del Nido has stressed that he has not received any official bid from City, with the Premier League runners-up already purchasing Jesus Navas from the Andalusian club in June.
Negredo spoke to the club’s official website earlier this week, admitting that he would not force a move, but he is open to the idea of leaving.
"Right now, I'm at Seville and like it very much there. If I stay that'll be fine but if I leave then it will be because it benefits both the club and myself."
Sevilla confirmed the signing of Colombia forward Varlos Bacca from Club Brugge on Wednesday in a deal worth €6 million, and they also announced Raul Rusescu had joined from Steaua Bucharest in June.
The addition of two strikers was seen as a sign that Negredo would be moving on from the club, and it’s a thought the Emery appears to agree with.
"The most likely situation is that he will leave," he told a press conference.
"It's possible the club can't reach an agreement for him, but we are prepared, we have spent some time working on alternatives.
"Of course we're not going to find a player with the same characteristics as him or one who is going to have the same record, but we will find players who will be important to the future of this club, and I trust the work the club is doing in that area."
Emery also spoke of Sevilla’s rather public financial difficulties, suggesting that any sale of Negredo for the right fee would go a long way to balancing the books.
He added: "The cards are on the table. Negredo is a very important player to Sevilla and he could continue to be one, either by staying here or by earning the club a big transfer fee.
"We know he could leave, but it would be the best for everyone. The club would be able to meet its financial obligations, and although we would lose a key player, we need to be reasonable, like we were in the case of Navas. Our aim is to produce new players that can reach the same heights (as Negredo and Navas)."
City have been linked with Stevan Jovetic of Fiorentina, and Pellegrini now appears to have a decision to make over which one to pursue, with the club highly unlikely to sign both forwards and still comply with the Financial Fair Play rules.