Sunderland boss Gus Poyet is closing in on Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt after a lengthy pursuit.
Press Association Sport understands the two clubs have agreed a fee in the region of £2.5million for the 24-year-old, weeks after the Black Cats initially tabled bids for both Bridcutt and winger Will Buckley.
Poyet's former employers have been holding out for their valuation of the Scotland international, who later handed in a transfer request and has not played since.
However, it is understood that there have been significant developments and that Bridcutt is now heading for Wearside to undergo a medical in a bid to push through a transfer before Friday night's 11pm deadline.
Poyet has already signed Marcos Alonso on loan from Fiorentina and Argentinian pair Oscar Ustari and Santiago Vergini this month, while compatriot Ignacio Scocco was in the crowd for Wednesday night's 1-0 Barclays Premier League win over Stoke which lifted Sunderland out of the bottom three for the first time since August.
Bridcutt's arrival could yet have implications for Lee Cattermole, who has been linked with a move to Stoke this month, although Potters boss Mark Hughes insisted after the game against Sunderland on Wednesday that no offer had been made.