Birmingham City are homing in on the signature of Rangers midfielder Barry Ferguson.
A £1.5 million deal is being concluded for the 31-year-old, who was told to head south from Glasgow for a medical and to discuss personal terms.
Manager Alex McLeish decided to take the plunge for his former national team and Rangers schemer to end his search for a playmaker.
But the Blues boss would still like to add another midfielder, a younger and more dynamic player, with Villa’s Craig Gardner coming into the reckoning again.
Ferguson was always an option for McLeish, who continually stated that he wanted a performer ‘in the Ferguson mould’, if not Ferguson himself.
They had also been eyeing up a Spanish midfielder, but it was proving difficult to make any headway there.
Ferguson’s days at Ibrox have been numbered since Rangers boss Walter Smith stripped him of the captaincy in April in the wake of the uproar caused by the Scotland 'boozegate' saga.
He had first been relieved of the Scotland armband and banned from playing for them again after the extended drinking session at the team hotel followed by inappropriate gestures during a match against Iceland.
Blues fly out to Austria for their pre-season tour and first friendlies on Sunday.
McLeish said he was hopeful that there would be new additions travelling, not least Ferguson.
McLeish said: "I hope that I can integrate people pretty quickly. I have got a number of players who are on a [wanted] list still.
"It’s very difficult to sift through the list and say ‘that one’s more outstanding than the other’. Probably a couple of them from the list would do us, but, yes, I have made a move for Barry."
McLeish said that Blues were continuing to assess foreign targets against domestic ones.
"We have done a lot of work on foreign players. At the end of the season, Andy Watson, Roy Aitken, myself and Paul Montgomery and the scouting staff were out looking at games across Europe.
"We have done some preliminary work on these players."
McLeish added: "We are still short of players to mount a serious challenge to stay in the top 17 of the Premier League.
"I know that and the directors, who have done extremely well to give me the investment so far, for the young centre-halves for example, know that as well."
Roger Johnson was due to take a significant step forward following surgery today by joining his new team mates in pre-season training proper.
The £5 million centre-half had a ‘tidy up’ operation on his hip after Cardiff City’s agonising failure to make the Championship play-offs.
He reported back before the main squad and has been working to a rehabilitation programme under the guidance of Blues medical and sports science staff.
"I had hip surgery, just a bit of a bone clipping and cartilage repair," he said. "I have been with the physios for two weeks and the shout from the specialist was that
I’d be back with the boys [on Wednesday], so I will crack on."
Blues other big centre-half capture, £3.5 million ex-Coventry City captain Scott Dann, has also been held back due to a minor knee operation in May.
Alex McLeish said that there was no need for any worry.
"They had tidy up operations during the summer," said the manager.
"I know that somebody like Roger, just talking to him and finding out a bit about his character face-to-face, is a guy who wants to defy the medics.
"He was gutted not to be starting when we reported back because the previous week he was saying: ‘I’ll be out on that training field on the first day’. Sometimes you’ve got to hold the reins on players, but that’s the type of attitude that I’m looking for at this club."
Franck Queudrue (hernia) also went under the knife in the close season, but Stuart Parnaby is back in the groove after a virus hampered him during the first week at Wast Hills.
"Some have been on the treatment table, or not available," said McLeish. "It’s not that important at the moment. The most important thing is that they are ready for the season, to reach a peak not so much for the Manchester United game, but to be ready for a full-bloodied Premier League season.
"We will make sure they get the best of treatment first."
McLeish said his players knew full well that there could be no slacking in the preparation for Old Trafford on August 16.
"I think they know the rigours of the Premier League, there’s no hiding place in this league. It’s supposed to be the toughest and best in terms of quality in the world.
"They might maybe only have one crack at it, who knows, and they have to be at their very best to compete in this league."