Real Sociedad are confident of completing the signing of Mikel Merino in the coming days.
The Newcastle United midfielder has agreed a five-year deal with the La Liga club, according to reports in Spain, and Sociedad are ready to activate Merino's release clause.
Merino, signed from Borussia Dortmund last year, became frustrated with a lack of first-team football in the second half of last season.
United – who would recoup the £9million they spent on him – are powerless to stop Merino leaving St James's Park.
Sociedad coach Asier Garitano has confirmed the club's interest in Merino, who is on holiday in Spain and due back on Tyneside next month.
“I think it still has not been finalised,” Garitano. “He’s someone I’ve know for many years, when we played against Osasuna with Leganes in the Second Division.
“It could be a good signing for us. He has been at important clubs like Borussia Dortmund and Newcastle. He has a great future ahead of him. We hope it can be completed.”
The form of Jonjo Shelvey and Mohamed Diame kept Merino out of the team when he returned from injury late last year.
The 22-year-old spent much of the second half of the club's Premier League campaign on the bench.
Merino spoke to the Gazette about his future early last month.