Crunch talks will be held in Birmingham this weekend to secure a firm commitment from the United States track and field team for a base camp in the city for the 2012 Olympics.
US officials arrive in Birmingham today, following almost a year of silence after the claim that they were "95 per cent" certain to be located in the city for the London Games.
US athletics chiefs held talks with other cities following last March's announcement that they were on the verge of committing themselves to Birmingham, which was hailed by council leader Mike Whitby at the time as "a tremendous coup".
However, the head of the US team told The Birmingham Post yesterday that there were financial issues which still had to be sorted before any firm deal would be signed.
It is unclear why there has been little movement with the Americans, although leading members of the council's sports department and Olympic task force are no longer at the local authority since the announcement.
Stephanie Hightower, chairwoman of USA Track & Field, said the team was keen to sign a deal as early as possible, so officials in both Birmingham and the US could work together to raise cash needed to house them.
But a final decision might not be made until after the Beijing Olympics in August, Ms Hightower warned, adding: "A lot will depend on the talks held this weekend."
She is among a team of five delegates who will visit Birmingham before tomorrow's Norwich Union Grand Prix athletics event at the National Indoor Arena.
They will be met by members of the city council's London Olympic team only two weeks after a meeting at another athletics event in Glasgow.
Local officials have been busy consulting with hotels, transportation bodies and sports organisations to thrash out a cut-price deal for the Americans.
Ms Hightower said she was aware there were other Olympic teams which had shown interest in basing themselves in Birmingham, such as the Chinese.
She said the US wanted to have "first dibs" on some of the finest sports facilities in the UK.
"We are not surprised that there has been a long gap since we announced last March that we wanted to come to Birmingham," she said.
"But we have been very impressed with Birmingham as a city and the way the team from Birmingham have talked with us."
Council chiefs in Birmingham announced last March, after six months of negotiations, that the US team was on the verge of signing a deal.
However, soon after, the American team carried out "explorations" looking into possible alternative bases.
Ms Hightower said: "There were no formal talks but there were explorations done. But it did not go any further than that. After we came back from Birmingham last year we asked officials to look at other facilities and to see what other cities had. I do not know where they went."
Denis Hurst, interim assistant director for sport at the city council, said: "I am not at all surprised that we have not got down to the fine print of a contract as we are four-and-a-half years from the Olympics."