Middlesbrough are reportedly close to sealing an £8million move for Borussia Dortmund centre-back Neven Subotic.
The Evening Gazette report that the move will be tied up once Subotic receives a work permit.
The club have agreed a three-year deal for the 27-year-old defender and now face a work permit hearing for the former Serbia international.
The Serbian stopper, who has been linked with Liverpool, has held extensive talks with Aitor Karanka and is keen to get his paperwork stamped.
The report claims Boro expect their initial application for Subotic to be declined, but they are confident they will win on the point-based first stage of the appeal process for Subotic, who has dual citizenship with an American passport.
Whether Liverpool will try to hijack the move remains to be seen after Jurgen Klopp saw Joe Gomez and Mamadou Sakho both pick up Achilles tendon problems. Klopp has now made a centre-back his top priority and the Liverpool boss is a big admirer of the player, who he took to Dortmund from Mainz in 2008.
Middlesbrough are also hoping to tie up a permanent deal for Gaston Ramirez and they will also need a work permit for the playmaker, whose contract with Southampton has recently expired.
The 25-year-old had a successful loan spell at Boro last term, helping the club to promotion and he has agreed a three-year deal subject to receiving a permit.