Manchester City have agreed to sign Netherlands midfielder Nigel de Jong from Hamburg SV pending personal terms, the German club said on Monday.
City, who were in talks with AC Milan over a possible world record transfer for Brazilian playmaker Kaka, will pay close to 20 million euro ($26.29 million) for the 24-year-old former Ajax Amsterdam holding midfielder, according to German media.
"We have had contact with Manchester City and have agreed to release the player if he can strike a deal with the English club," Hamburg spokesman Joern Wolf told Reuters.
"Now it is up to the player and his agent to agree on a contract with that team."
De Jong, whose contract with Hamburg expires in 2010, had confirmed late last week he had received an offer and said he still had two weeks to decide before the end of the transfer period. On Monday he said the deal was far from done.
"I cannot say anything. Nothing is finished," he told reporters upon the team's return from a training camp in Spain.
Hamburg coach Martin Jol said that if the deal went through, the funds would be used to bolster his squad.
"My idea is to take a step back in order to move three steps forward," Jol told reporters.
City, in the bottom of half of the Premier League table, are the richest club in the world after being taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group.