Nicky Butt undergoes the medical examination later today that will determine whether he joins Birmingham City for the coming campaign and that will go a long way to deciding if he plays in next year's World Cup finals.
The Newcastle United midfielder yesterday agreed to move to St Andrew's on a season-long loan with a view to making a permanent transfer for £2 million next summer.
The deal reunites him with Blues manager Steve Bruce, who in a previous guise played with Butt in a Manchester United side that won League championships and FA Cups by the bushel.
During their time together at Old Trafford Bruce watched his new employee develop from a callow youth team player into an industrious cog in the United machine and to become a dependable international.
But the City boss must oversee an equally startling transformation in a man whose career seems to have taken a downward spiral since leaving the Red Devils.
Butt went to St James's Park, in July last year, as an integral member of Sven Goran Eriksson's England squad.
He leaves it, after the most frustrating season in his career, as a bit-part player for his club, off the radar for his country and in real danger of missing out on Germany 2006 - unless he can find himself some regular football.
Which is why he has agreed to team up with Bruce, despite turning him down 18 months ago when he was struggling to get into Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
Butt preferred to remain in Manchester until after Euro 2004 but since moving to Tyneside he has found his position continually eroded by Graeme Souness' insistence on signing central midfielders.
First came Amdy Faye, followed by Scott Parker, Lee Clark and Turkey international Emre Belezoglu as Butt started to drift out of the Scot's plans.
However, the 30-year-old fits the bill perfectly for Bruce who has already missed out on two midfielders this summer, Parker and Butt's Newcastle team-mate Lee Bowyer, and who is short on bodies at the heart of his team.
Robbie Savage left in January, Darren Carter followed him last month, Muzzy Izzet is just recovering from a longterm injury and Damien Johnson is suspended for the first three matches of the new term.
Those circumstances should give the Mancunian an early chance to impress Bruce and Eriksson. His arrival will give his manager a muchneeded fillip after a couple of fruitless months in the marketplace.
Meanwhile, another of Bruce's targets, Charlton forward Jason Euell, has dislocated his shoulder, casting doubts over a potential move to St Andrew's.
The manager said on Tuesday that he had already had one bid rejected for the midfielder-cum-striker, who found himself out of Alan Curbishley's first-team plans last season.
Further discussions now, however, will have to wait until the extent of Euell's condition is determined after he was injured during the second half of the 2-0 defeat of a Charlton XI by Dover Athletic on Tuesday night.
Euell was immediately taken to hospital, where the shoulder was set back in place. He will see a specialist to assess any tissue damage.
Full-backs Stan Lazaridis and Mario Melchiot have been called up for international duty by Australia and Holland respectively.
Lazaridis has been included in the Socceroos squad for a four-day training camp in the Netherlands the day after the Premiership starts.
He is on the road back to fitness after an operation on his groin earlier this summer.
Melchiot has been named in the provisional Holland squad for their upcoming friendly game against Germany in Rotterdam on August 17.