Alvaro Negredo has left Manchester City to join Valencia on a loan deal that will ultimately lead to a permanent 30 million-euro move.
The Spain international wanted to return to his homeland and the Premier League champions felt the offer was too good to turn down, sources told ESPN.
While City manager Manuel Pellegrini prefers to have four strikers in his squad, the reality is that Negredo is not available anyway and the 29-year-old, who is currently sidelined by a metatarsal injury, may not be fit until November.
Pellegrini is content to use Yaya Toure, who scored 24 goals last season, as a second striker in some games. Although it does mean that he is left with just three out-and-out centre-forwards, two of whom, Stevan Jovetic and Sergio Aguero, have been injury prone.
City were initially adamant they did not want to sell Negredo, who they signed for 16 million pounds last summer, for a cut-price fee. He will become City's biggest sale this summer and his exit means that, despite financial fair play regulations, they will have money to spend in future transfer windows.
The former Sevilla and Real Madrid player had attracted offers from Spanish clubs earlier in the summer, but no offer materialised for the 29-year-old until Valencia's late bid.
Negredo scored 23 goals in his only season at the Etihad Stadium, as he helped City win the Premier League and the Capital One Cup.
Summer transfer window roundup
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- Delaney: What did we learn on deadline day?
- Horncastle: European transfer grades
- Smith: Transfers more important than the game?
- Macintosh: We worship goals, not balance sheets
However, he failed to find the net after January as he suffered from first a shoulder injury and then a goal drought.
Pellegrini had hinted he could be omitted from City's Champions League squad, for which they can only register 16 non-homegrown players.
Negredo will wear the No. 7 shirt and becomes the second City player to join Valencia this summer, after Bruno Zuculini, who moved on a season-long loan.