Sevilla have completed the signing of Steven N’Zonzi from Stoke City, who are expected to receive around £7million from the sale.
The French midfielder had been at the Britannia Stadium since the summer of 2012, when they paid £3million to take him from Blackburn Rovers. N’Zonzi went on to make a total of 120 appearances for the Potters, scoring seven goals, but as his contract entered its final year earlier this month, it became increasingly clear that he was open to a possible transfer.
Sevilla had an offer of £3million for the 26-year-old rejected last week, but they returned this week with an offer worth more than double this amount. This was enough to persuade Stoke to let him talk to the Spanish club, and they have now completed a transfer for a player who was ultimately turned by the prospect of featuring in the UEFA Champions League next term.
“It was a big decision for Steven,” said Stoke manager Mark Hughes. “We tried very hard to convince him that his future lay with us. It’s just he was aware of an opportunity that might arise when he might be able to play in the Champions League. Sometimes players get labelled greedy and it’s about the amount of money they can make elsewhere, but that wasn’t the case with Steven.”