Spanish club Sevilla are prepared to play hardball over a potential transfer for striker Alvaro Negredo, according to Marca. The La Liga club are negotiating with Manchester City over the sale of the 27-year-old Spain international and Manuel Pellegrini's new club have already had a €23m bid rejected.
It is believed Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido is keen for his counterparts at the Etihad to pay at least €25m for the former Real Madrid youngster; although the full value of €28m would be preferred.
City have released two of the four first team strikers they started the 2012/13 Premier League season with - Mario Balotelli joined AC Milan in January and Carlos Tevez moved to Serie A champions Juventus this summer.
This leaves only Argentina international Sergio Agüero and Bosnian Edin Dzeko at the club and former Villarreal and Madrid boss Pellegrini is keen on Negredo to beef up the ranks. The powerful centre-forward failed to establish himself at the Santiago Bernabeu but has blossomed into a top-quality goal scorer at the Sanchez Pizjuan, scoring 70 goals in 116 La Liga starts since his move in 2009.
Sevilla have already done business with City this window, with Spain international winger Jesus Navas, moving to Manchester for a reported £17m (plus £4.6m in performance-based clauses; an approximate total of €25m) in early June.
The Andalusians have also sold Spain U21 International Luis Alberto to Liverpool for a reported €8m and left-back Antonio Luna to Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee.
All of this means the formerly cash-strapped Spaniards have now balanced their books, at least for now. And that means del Nido is not in a rush to sell players. Negredo has a contract through to 2017 and with West Ham United, Atlético Madrid and Tottenham linked to the player as well, Pellegrini will have his work cut out, if he wants to bring Negredo to the Premier League.
The good news for City fans, at least according to Marca, is that there is a tacit understanding Negredo will move to the former English champions; the only hang-up now is the fee.