London - Aston Villa manager Roberto di Matteo has said he expects Idrissa Gana to join Everton after the Premier League club triggered a £7.1 million release clause in the Senegal midfielder's contract.
The clause expires at the end of the transfer window, but Everton are the only club to have so far launched an official bid.
Villa were relegated from the Premier League last season and then appointed di Matteo, who said on Friday there was little he could do to stop Gana leaving the Birmingham club, even though the Italian would like him to stay.
"It's public Everton have triggered his clause and he's going to leave," di Matteo said Friday.
"There's no news so far but the expectation is, once personal terms are agreed and a medical (is done), he's going to go.
"There are other clubs interested, that's right, but the only official bid so far has been from Everton.
"There's not much I can do because he had a clause in his contract and that's something I inherited and my hands are tied. We will be losing him.
"The fact he is leaving is basically down to the clause he has in his contract, otherwise there would be no chance.
"We're not a club looking to sell, we don't have to, we don't need to."
Gana joined Villa from Lille before the start of last season and scored one goal in 38 appearances as the club were relegated from the Premier League, winning just three league matches in the process.
He could become Everton's first major signing of the summer after they appointed former Leicester assistant manager Steve Walsh, who helped bring Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante to the reigning English champions, as director of football at Goodison Park.