The Sevilla president José María del Nido has denied that his club have received an offer from Manchester City or Tottenham Hotspur for Alvaro Negredo. But City remain well placed to sign the striker after the Spanish club rejected a bid from Atlético Madrid.
Although there has also been interest from Germany, sources in Seville say that they are optimistic that a deal is close. Sevilla would be prepared to sell for around £20m and they have also expressed an interest in City's 19-year-old Spanish attacker Denis Suárez.
Negredo had been keen on a move to the Spanish capital but Del Nido insisted on Wednesday that Atlético had "zero chance" of signing him and the striker is now open to a move abroad.
Sevilla would prefer to sell to a foreign club than a direct rival among those sides fighting for European places in La Liga. They remain hopeful of forcing the price up before closing a deal but are aware of the need to raise money. They sold Jesús Navas to City for £17m plus a further £4.5m in incentives last month.
The City manager Manuel Pellegrini had already tried to sign Negredo while in charge of Málaga and the departure of Carlos Tevez and Paris Saint-Germain's interest in paying Edinson Cavani's £53m buyout clause in order to throw off competition for his signature, makes the Spaniard an increasingly attractive option. His salary at Sevilla is a relatively modest £1.7m a year.
Del Nido said: "Manchester City have not made any offer for him; nor have Tottenham and the offer from Atlético was turned down 11 days ago."
But on Wednesday he admitted: "There are two clubs in England who are interested in him and his departure could happen."
Negredo, who played at youth team level at Rayo Vallecano and Real Madrid, has scored59 league goals over the past three seasons at Sevilla. Last season he scored 25 in 36 league games, plus six in six in the Copa del Rey.