Sunderland will tie up the signing of Sebastian Coates this week – for a bargain £2million.
The Liverpool defender is set to complete a permanent move to Wearside after his loan spell last season.
Coates has been on Copa America duty and is taking some time off after Uruguay’s exit last week.
But Sunderland will push through the transfer to become Dick Advocaat’s first signing as head coach.
Reports from Merseyside say that the fee will be £4million, but it is understood that Sunderland will only pay half that amount.
Coates only has 12 months left on his Liverpool contract and the Reds are keen to cash in on him to help fund boss Brendan Rodgers’ summer rebuilding job.
But director of football Lee Congerton and the Black Cats board won’t be held to ransom and have negotiated the price down.
Coates struggled initially to make an impact on loan at Sunderland after being signed by fellow Uruguayan and then-boss Gus Poyet but hit form in the relegation run-in after being recalled to the team by Advocaat.
He impressed enough for Sunderland to sign him permanently, and a fee of £2million is seen as a great piece of business by the club.
His arrival will be the first part of Advocaat’s defensive rebuilding, with Sunderland targeting another centre-half should Santiago Vergini leave the club, while they are also in the market for a right-back.
Stewart Downing remains a target for the Black Cats, who are in the market for a winger, while they have also been linked with QPR’s Matt Phillips.