Sunderland have agreed a fee which could eventually rise to £14million for defender Patrick van Aanholt with Premier League rivals Crystal Palace.
The Eagles have been given permission to speak to the 26-year-old Dutchman, who had submitted a transfer request, and he will now travel to London in a bid to push through his move.
Black Cats chief executive Martin Bain said: “If a player openly states he does not want to play for our club, then it is clear that we have a decision to make. In this instance and in regard to this particular player, we have done what we feel is right for Sunderland, which will always be our priority.”
A successful conclusion to the talks would reunite Van Aanholt with Palace boss Sam Allardyce, for whom he played at the Stadium of Light last season as the Black Cats fought yet another successful battle against relegation.
Sunderland had earlier rejected a £7million offer from the Eagles and despite the player’s insistence that he wanted to go, held out for their valuation for a man who joined them from Chelsea for just £1.5million in July 2014 after loan spells at Coventry, Newcastle, Leicester, Wigan and Vitesse Arnhem.
The news that Van Aanholt wanted to leave will have come as a blow to manager David Moyes, who had seen his only specialist left-back score three times this season.
However, once it became clear that he was on his way out of Wearside, the club turned its attention to finding a replacement and it is understood the Black Cats are maintaining an interest in Bordeaux’s Diego Contento, who is available on loan.
Moyes will hope to plug the impending gap as quickly as possible with high-flying Tottenham due at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday evening, although there is no guarantee that the proceeds of Van Aanholt’s sale will be re-invested by the cash-strapped club.
The Scot signed free agent Joleon Lescott – a man who can play at left-back and well as in central defence – on a short-term contract earlier this week, but could lose fellow defender Papy Djilobodji for four games if he fails to defend a Football Association violent conduct charge.
His depleted resources have also been boosted by Ivory Coast’s exit from the African Nations Cup with Lamine Kone due back on Wearside, along with Gabon midfielder Didier Ndong, sooner than the player might have hoped.