West Bromwich Albion are expected to confirm the appointment of Tony Mowbray as their new manager within the next 24 hours, once a compensation package has been agreed with Hibernian.
Mowbray, who turned down an approach from his former club Ipswich Town in the summer, appears to have finally been tempted into a return home to England by the Baggies.
If he is appointed before the weekend, that will set up an
intriguing first fixture for Mowbray back on his old patch at Portman Road against Championship rivals the Tractor Boys this Saturday.
But of paramount importance for Albion is that, once they have completed the formalities, they will be getting the 42-year-old for a compensation package thought to be as little as #120,000.
Although Mowbray has been a big hit in the two-anda-half years he and his trusted No 2 Mark Venus have been with Hibs, it was only this summer, following Ipswich's approach, that the Easter Road manager put pen to paper on a new one-year rolling contract.
This was due to run for five years, but it does not take effect until next summer and, despite the best efforts of Hibernian's chief executive Rod Petrie, who has been in negotiations with Mowbray over the last few days, Albion look likely to be smiling over Mowbray's appointment.
The Baggies were playing their usual straight bat after yesterday's developments, a press statement claiming simply that "Hibernian are one of a number of clubs from whom Albion have sought permission to speak to their manager regarding the managerial vacancy at The Hawthorns".
But, of the other clubs possibly facing the threat of losing
their manager, only one felt the need to issue any sort of statement - and that came from Edinburgh.
"Hibernian can this evening confirm that a formal approach from West Bromwich Albion has been received seeking permission to speak to manager Tony Mowbray regarding their vacant managerial position," it read.
"The manager has been made aware of the situation."
It was north of the border last week when it first became clear that the Hibs boss was strongly in the running for the job, as reported by The Post on Friday.
And it has meant an awkward few days for Mowbray, who has been facing some probing questions at a time when he would have been in breach of his contract had he undertaken any sort of formal meeting with Albion.
But, although an Albion insider was insistent last night that nobody has yet been formally offered the job, the word from Scotland is that an appointment is now "imminent".
Whether Mowbray is appointed this week or next week, he faces a daunting baptism, with Saturday's game at Ipswich being followed by a midweek trip to Crystal Palace and then the first Black Country derby of the season against Wolverhampton Wanderers at The Hawthorns on Saturday week.
But they are set to appoint a man whose shoulders are as broad as his Teesside accent.
Mowbray was a legend in his playing days with all the three clubs he played for - his local side Middlesbrough, Celtic and Ipswich, whose coaching staff he joined under then-manager George Burley when his playing days finally came to an end in May 2000.
He then overcame devastating grief - the loss of his wife to cancer - to make a success of his first managerial role with Hibs, who he has twice steered into the Scottish Premier League's top four and this season on into Europe.
* Watson ready for Albion. Click here for story.