Jesús Navas is set to be the first signing of the impending Manuel Pellegrini era at Manchester City. The Sevilla and Spain winger is close to a deal that will take him to the Premier League for £17m, plus a further £4.6m based on performances, of which the Spanish club believe £2.9m is virtually guaranteed.
Sevilla said that they had accepted City's offer and the next step was a medical for Navas. The length of his contract and his salary are not yet known but sources suggest that he will earn more than double the amount he earned in La Liga, where he was reportedly on £2.1m a year.
Navas will travel to the Confederations Cup with Spain later this month as a City player. Following Sevilla's final game of the season on Saturday the club's manager, Unai Emery, said: "All the signs are that Navas will leave. It is the best thing for him and for the club."
Navas said: "I am open to anything and I want to win titles. City is a team I like a lot." Now, the deal only awaits the final signatures.
The 27-year-old believes he is ready to move abroad having fully overcome the anxiety attacks that marked the early stages of his career. His initial introduction to the Spain squad was delayed because of the problems he encountered when leaving his native Seville, but with the club and the national team working with him he was a member of the side at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and at last summer's European Championship in Ukraine. He has 23 caps.
Navas will bring City pace on the right wing, the ability to take on full-backs and deliver telling passes. He has provided 79 chances in the Spanish league this season, the fifth highest total in the country.
His signing is an intriguing one because Pellegrini has rarely played with out-and-out wingers, usually preferring his "wide" men to come inside. Navas could undergo the kind of evolution that Joaquín experienced under Pellegrini at Málaga. Joaquín was encouraged to move towards the middle and ended up playing behind the striker. Navas's game has also been altered slightly in his final season at Sevilla, becoming involved in more central positions in the absence of a natural playmaker.
Pellegrini, who says he has a verbal agreement to join City, is to have a square named after him in Málaga following his successful three-year stint in the city. The coach remains popular with fans after taking the club to the Champions League quarter-finals.