Bolton Wanderers manager Sam Allardyce expects Tal Ben-Haim will leave the Reebok Stadium and sign for Chelsea before the transfer window closes at midnight on Wednesday.
The Premiership champions have been linked with the Israel international for most of January and speculation intensified that the defender will be on the move when he did not play in Bolton's FA Cup fourth round clash at Arsenal.
Allardyce said after the 1-1 draw: "Tal failed a fitness test on Sunday morning having picked up an injury.
"Tal was determined he wouldn't play. We were disappointed but, if a player says he's not fit to play, he's not fit to play.
"My chairman's in Australia and I only spoke to him a few minutes ago and he's had no contact from anybody. I hope it's like Tal tells me and it's just a genuine injury.
"If there's a big bid coming, it'll have to be really big. It'll cost them much more now than it would have done three weeks ago because there are only two days for me to get a replacement.
"I haven't been able to afford to buy a replacement before he goes out, which I think we should have done."