Former France Under-21 international midfielder Steven Nzonzi sealed a move to two-time defending Europa League champions Sevilla on Thursday with his English Premier League side Stoke City receiving a record A?7 million ($10.7m, 9.7m euros) in the process.

The 26-year-old signed a four-year contract with the Spanish club, which includes a 30 million-euro buyout clause.

Stoke’s previous record transfer fee received was A?4.5 million from Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg for Tuncay Sanli in 2011.

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“The club would like to place on record its thanks to Steven and offer him our best wishes,” read a statement from Stoke.

Stoke manager Mark Hughes had said on Wednesday that, hard as they had tried, there had been no persuading Nzonzi in staying and thus Sevilla were granted permission to speak to him.

“We worked really hard to persuade him his future lay here but it didn’t seem to be enough for him,” said Hughes.

His sale represents good business for Stoke as they signed him for just A?3 million three years ago from Blackburn Rovers.

Since then Nzonzi, who joined Rovers from French side Amiens in 2009, has played 120 times for Stoke but was no stranger to wishing to leave them having asked for a transfer in 2013 and again in 2014.

Nzonzi may well not be the only player to leave Stoke in the near future as Bosnian international goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has been linked to a move to Chelsea.

By AFP