Shane Long's transfer from West Bromwich Albion to Hull City is expected to be concluded in the near future as the clubs prepare to settle on a six million pound fee for the Republic of Ireland international.
West Bromwich Albion's sporting and technical director Richard Garlick was due to hold further negotiations with Hull City officials on Wednesday and there is the slim prospect of Long signing a three-year contract ahead of Hull's trip to face Norwich City this weekend.
Despite the arrival of Pepe Mel as new head coach, the decision to sell Long seems to have been decided upon and all that remains is to settle over a method of payment for the 26-year-old.
Long has six months remaining on his current contract and Albion's desire to sell has been indicated by their refusal to enter into any discussions over an extension to his stay at the Hawthorns, despite holding a 12-month option on the current deal.
ESPN sources understand the fee will be slightly less than the 6.5 million pounds Hull were prepared to pay for Long on the final day of the summer transfer window, but Albion are believed to want the vast majority of that fee up front.
According to sources close to Albion, chairman Jeremy Peace wants to recoup most of the 4.9 million pounds WBA paid Reading for Long through Hull’s down-payment for the striker, while sources on Humberside claim the Tigers are willing to offer a package that could be worth more than 6 million pounds with the addition of add-ons.
New boss Mel, who took his first training session on Tuesday, has been consulted over the potential sale, but Peace appears to have decided the time is right to sell the striker.
With Long expected to depart and Markus Rosenburg interesting Malmo, Mel has spoken of the need for at least one striker on loan or a short-term deal, but he will not return to his former club Real Betis for new players.
"We need reinforcements, but I'm not signing any Betis player,” he said. “It's sacred for me. If there's anything that's impossible to buy in football then it is people's [fans'] love.”
"The Betis saga is so painful to me but I am nobody to talk about Betis. Here [in the West Midlands] everything is at my disposal 24 hours a day. From the first day you have a house, a phone... They really wanted me to be here. They make things so easy for me.”