Birmingham City are set to beat off a clutch of Premiership rivals for one of the bargains of the summer when they tie up the signing of Middlesbrough's Stuart Parnaby on a free transfer today.
Second city rivals Aston Villa, Everton and West Ham United were all in for the 24-year-old utility man, who is available on a Bosman after coming to the end of his contract at the Riverside.
Blues appear to have won the battle for a competitive player, who suffered a frustrating in-and-out campaign with Boro last term only due to a string of niggly contact injuries.
It has certainly helped smooth the negotiations between Parnaby and Blues that the Bishop Auckland-born player, a boyhood Newcastle United fan, talks the same language as City boss Steve Bruce.
Parnaby, whose father Dave runs Middlesbrough's Academy, also has an uncle who works at St James' Park on Newcastle home match days. Those sort of good North-east credentials, not to mention the lack of transfer fee, will have appealed to Bruce and his board.
What Bruce has saved on the fee will help to supplement Parnaby's wages, as Blues get used to being back in the breath-taking world that is the Premiership market place.
The former England Under-21 international does not come cheap, having turned down the offer of a new contract at the Riverside under-stood to be worth more than #25,000.
But it is not money which is luring him from Teesside, more the prospect of a new challenge away from his family and footballing roots. Long before the end of last season, Boro boss Gareth Southgate was resigned to losing him.
While Bruce attempts to strengthen his squad, it is understood that there may yet also be a further departure along with Julian Gray.
Bruno N'Gotty has another year's option on his current contract, and he has to decide whether to take up that or make the short move across the Midlands to Leicester City, who are reported to have made an offer for him.