Brighton boss Gus Poyet says there was no chance of blocking Elliot Bennett's move to Norwich City.
The midfielder is set to complete his Premier League switch today.
Poyet commented on his club's official website: "I thank Elliott for the way he has approached the situation. He had a great opportunity to leave in January.
"He understood how important he was to us and he agreed to stay another six months to help us get out of League One, but now it's impossible for him to turn down because of the offer and the level he is going to play. On behalf of everyone at the club I wish him well in the Premier League.
"When I came to the club he was seen as just a right winger, but he's also been very impressive playing behind the strikers, playing the shape we played away from home and also in a disciplined role when we were chasing games.
"I always say the best way is for everyone to get better together and that's the perfect situation, but sometimes a player develops quicker. When that happens it's difficult to keep them because we can't compete with the opportunities and salaries in the Premier League."