Reading midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson has joined German club Hoffenheim for a fee of at least £6.5m.
The 20-year-old from Iceland has signed a four-year deal.
“I’m sad to leave, but this is a great challenge and I couldn’t afford to turn it down,” said Sigurdsson. “I would have been silly to say no to this.”
“Reading will always have a massive place in my heart and will always be very special to me. I left home to come here when I was 15 and it was hard to say goodbye to everyone.
“But I think Reading have hopefully received good money for me and everything at Reading has been perfect. I feel like I’ve grown up with the club and the fans have been fantastic to me as well.”
Royals chairman Sir John Madejski said the deal was right for his club: “My support for the football club is unwavering and while I am chairman we will do things the right way.
“We have a well-publicised deficit in our budget now that the parachute payments have ended and we have to take steps to fill this shortfall for the good of the club.
“We wish Gylfi every success in Germany, his rise to prominence has been quite incredible.”