Everton are set to sign Idrissa Gueye, Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo has confirmed.
The 26-year-old is understood to have been discussing personal terms with the Premier League side this week after they met his release clause, which is reportedly set at £7.1million.
Gueye was one of Villa’s few standout performers last season as they were relegated from England’s top flight with just three wins from 38 matches.
Di Matteo is disappointed to see the Senegal international depart but conceded that the clause in his contract meant Gueye’s future was out of his hands.
“It’s public Everton have triggered his clause and he’s going to leave,” the ex-Chelsea boss said on Friday.
“There’s no news so far but the expectation is, once personal terms are agreed and a medical [is done], he’s going to go.
“There are other clubs interested, that’s right, but the only official bid so far has been from Everton.
“There’s not much I can do because he had a clause in his contract and that’s something I inherited and my hands are tied. We will be losing him.
“The fact he is leaving is basically down to the clause he has in his contract, otherwise there would be no chance.
“We’re not a club looking to sell. We don’t have to, we don’t need to. He had a clause but nobody else has.”
Villa forward Jordan Ayew has also been linked with a move back to the Premier League, with West Ham reportedly interested, but Di Matteo says he will not be sold.
“Jordan Ayew is going to be part of our plans and is going to stay here. His qualities will shine,” he said.