Aston Villa hope to sign Jean Makoun in time for Sunday's derby against city rivals Birmingham.
Villa boss Gerard Houllier flew to France to have talks with Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas on Wednesday concerning a £6.5 million deal.
The Midlands club hope the 27-year-old will be available to take on the Blues, and Lyon coach Claude Puel has admitted at a news conference it is "very unlikely" the player will stay.
But Puel has not ruled out a Ligue 1 swansong for the midfielder against Lorient on Saturday if a deal is not reached by then.
He told L'Equipe: "It will depend on his state of mind. If I feel he is ready and that he is mentally right, I don't see why we would deprive ourselves of him.
"We know what he has brought to the team and his importance within the group.
"Jean has not yet left but the club has financial considerations to take into account."
A statement from the French outfit added: "The progress of the talks are still subject to the player and his advisors agreements."
Makoun's team-mate Aly Cissokho admits the player will be sadly missed if he does complete his switch.
"He is a good player and a person who I like off the field," said the France full-back.
"If he leaves, I will miss him in the changing room."