West Bromwich Albion are expected to finalise a seasonlong loan for Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland next week, but the prospects of Tottenham Hotspur striker Frederic Kanoute joining the club appear to be over.
Kirkland, aged 23, is keen to switch to The Hawthorns in a bid to kick-start his career, which has stagnated at Anfield where he has made just 45 appearances since joining for £6 million in August 2001 from Coventry City.
Albion manager Bryan Robson wants Kirkland to provide cover for Russell Hoult and a deal is expected to be completed when Liverpool's chief executive Rick Parry returns from holiday next week.
But, contrary to reports from the Spurs' end, Albion insist they have not made a £4.5 million bid for Kanoute - and in any case his agent Willie McKay says the striker would not be interesting in joining Albion.
McKay said: "Fredi is happy and he doesn't want to leave Tottenham to go to West Brom.
"I mean, who would leave Tottenham to go to West Brom? I wouldn't and Fredi doesn't want to either.
"He is in the team at Spurs and if he was to leave it would have to be to a bigger club than Tottenham."
McKay's comments suggest any hopes Albion may have had of securing Kanoute, who scored nine goals last term, either permanently or on loan are over.
And despite Kanoute hardly setting Spurs alight since his £3.5 million switch from West Ham United in August 2003, White Hart Lane coach Martin Jol apparently sees the player as an integral part of his plans for next term.
Albion are likely to have considerably more success finalising terms with Kirkland next week.
The goalkeeper need only look at the success of Kieran Richardson's loan spell at Albion from Manchester United last season to realise what regular first-team football could do for his career.
And Robson is determined to sign the 6ft 3in keeper following a glowing recommendation from the club's new goalkeeping coach Joe Corrigan, who used to work for Liverpool.
Albion's present No 1, Russell Hoult, is reportedly unhappy about not getting a new long-term contract and at 32-years-old, Hoult, who let in several soft goals last season, also appears to be getting less mobile and more injury-prone.
Robson tried to sign Scott Carson from Leeds United in January, but the youngster went to Liverpool instead, pushing Kirkland down the pecking order. With Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez apparently keen to sign another keeper this summer, Kirkland is now resigned to leaving Anfield either on loan or permanently.
* Junichi Inamoto is poised to become the first Albion player for 20 years to participate in the World Cup finals.
Inamoto helped Japan qualify for the 2006 finals in Germany after a 2-0 victory over North Korea in Bangkok.
The last Baggies player to appear in a World Cup was Jimmy Nicholl, when he played for Northern Ireland at the 1986 finals in Mexico.
Inamoto, who came to prominence playing for Japan in the 2002 finals, joined Albion from Fulham last summer.