Birmingham City chairman David Gold last night expressed his confidence that the club would sign Walter Pandiani when the Uruguayan's loan deal finishes at the end of the season.
Heartened by negotiations with Pandiani's current employers, Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna, and fortified by the club's recent success in sealing transfer deals, Gold said that, despite some wrangling at the fee, he did not see any major stumbling blocks.
Deportivo are said to be willing to do business for about £ 3.2 million and, although there are other clubs such as Middlesbrough and Newcastle United whispering sweet, lucrative, noises, Birmingham are thought to be the player's preferred destination.
Gold said: "If I was a betting man I would say that Walter Pandiani will be playing for Birmingham City next season. I do not think there will be any problems.
"If you look back at the history of Birmingham City under the stewardship of the Golds and Sullivan, most deals get concluded.
"I cannot remember a deal that has collapsed, even Craig Bellamy was not an issue of finance it was more his desire to go to Celtic."
At the time when Blues moved for Pandiani, in the dwindling hours of the January transfer window, there was conjecture that he was a reluctant recruit.
But since then, after a goal on his debut and another against Chelsea at the weekend, he has become a firm favourite with Birmingham's players, staff and, most importantly, management.
However, Pandiani's inspiring performances, in his first and last matches, sandwiched a string of quiet displays in which he was hampered by injury.
Gold said: "We all got very excited with Walter when he got off to a fantastic start and then he had a quiet spell but he was playing with a bit of a knock and not training as well as he might. But now he has got two good weeks under his belt and I thought he was a handful against Chelsea in a game where you don't get many chances or crosses coming in."
Gold believes the best is still to come from the 28-yearold, saying: "I am sure against Portsmouth and the other clubs we have left it will be a different kettle of fish and he will look like the player we first saw."
Gold does not believe that meeting Pandiani's terms would be a problem but said there was still some work to be done to agree a fee.
La Coruna's president Augusto Cesar Lendoiro said: "In this moment it is clear that Pandiani will stay in England. I have always been convinced that he would be a success in England as he is a good striker."
If Pandiani does agree to sign permanently he will present Steve Bruce, the Blues manager, with an embarrassment of riches up front. He has England international Emile Heskey, Republic of Ireland regular Clinton Morrison and Robbie Blake and has made public his desire to bring Bellamy or former leading scorer Mikael Forssell to St Andrew's.