Aston Villa have prevailed over Al-Nassr in their two-way battle to sign highly-rated Bayer Leverkusen forward Moussa Diaby.
Villa have pulled off a coup but at the cost of smashing their transfer record as they have to fork out €50 million plus €10m in add-ons to wrap up the deal.
The finances surrounding Diaby’s imminent arrival will eclipse the €38m Villa paid to sign Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City two years ago.
Diaby reportedly rejected an eye-watering proposal from Al-Nassr in favour of moving to England, citing the Villa Park project as a major deciding factor.
The 24-year-old already has a pre-existing five-year contract agreement with the Birmingham club, and his medical examination is set to take place over the next 48 hours.
Diaby’s exit will be a huge blow for Xabi Alonso and Leverkusen, with Die Werkself looking to build on their sixth-place Bundesliga finish last season.
However, the former Paris Saint-Germain prodigy will be the third signing of the transfer window for Villa, whose summer business has been hugely impressive.
The Villans have secured the services of Youri Tielemans on a free transfer from Leicester City and Pau Torres in a £31.5m move from Villarreal as Emery continues to imprint his identity on the squad.
After finishing in the top seven last season, Villa’s summer business shows the club are determined to cement their position in the upper echelons of the Premier League table.
However, there could be more signings, with Villa still interested in AC Milan flop Charles De Ketelaere and Nottingham Forest forward Brennan Johnson.
Diaby’s potential arrival could also open the door for Philippe Coutinho to leave Villa Park amid interest from Turkish giants Besiktas, who have tabled a proposal to sign him on loan.