With just two days to go before the transfer window shuts, Aston Villa are set to make their first signing of the summer with the £7 million capture of Bulgaria international Stilian Petrov.
The midfielder will become Martin O'Neill's first success in the marketplace and his arrival will be the first at Villa for a year as the Ulsterman looks to bolster one of the smallest squads in the top flight.
The fact that O'Neill moved to Villa Park is thought to be a decisive factor for the 27-year-old, given they shared five success filled years at Celtic during which Villa's new manager led the Glaswegians to three league titles and a domestic treble.
Throughout that time Petrov was a crucial part of the team although he has never enjoyed a similar relationship with O'Neill's successor, Gordon Strachan, and earlier this year he dragged his heels on a signing a new contract.
He eventually extended the term in January but by the end of the season had handed in a written transfer request. O'Neill's installation at Villa will have only increased his determination to leave the Scottish champions.
That alerted a host of suitors and Villa and Premiership rivals Portsmouth emerged as leaders for the Bulgarian's signature until yesterday when O'Neill's counterpart at Pompey, Harry Redknapp, conceded defeat.
Redknapp said: "I think you will find Petrov has gone to Aston Villa. That is the plan and we wish him all the best."
Although Villa are refusing to confirm anything, it is virtually guaranteed that the former CSKA Sofia player will join by this Thursday, especially since he was left out of the Celtic team that beat Hibernian last weekend.
The fact that Real Madrid midfielder Thomas Gravesen is about to sign for Petrov's current employers suggests a deal is all but done.
However, Petrov's agent insists nothing is imminent with his client away with the Bulgaria squad preparing for the Euro 2008 qualifiers against Romania and Slovenia.
But Tony McGill admits the situation could change quickly ahead of the transfer window closing at midnight on August 31.
McGill said: "It would be pretty difficult for him to be on his way to Villa because he is away with Bulgaria. With this saga, you never know though. It is possible to conclude a deal by fax."
The recruitment of such a big name would only increase the feel-good factor that hangs around Villa Park at the moment, with O'Neill seem-ingly working miracles with the squad left behind by David O'Leary.
While O'Leary spent the first year of his tenure moaning that the players were not of his choosing, O'Neill has, in just three weeks, transformed a team that has claimed seven points from their first three matches and risen to second in the league.
And with American billion-aire Randy Lerner now the majority shareholder at Villa there is a promise of further additions, although they cannot be considered likely before the next deadline.
More realistic is that O'Neill will be handed a large war chest when the window opens in January next year to push for the top-half finish that would make his first season in the job a resounding success.