Gerard Houllier is closing in on Lyon's Jean Makoun, with the midfielder set to undergo a medical.
Aston Villa have seen a £5million bid accepted for the Cameroon international and are looking to wrap up a deal as soon as possible.
They had initially hoped to have Makoun on board in time for him to face local rivals Birmingham on Sunday, but that plan has had to be put on hold.
Personal terms are yet to be agreed with the player and until every box is ticked, no agreement can be pushed through.
Houllier admits there remain a few loose ends to tie up before Makoun officially completes his move to England, but the Frenchman is confident those issues will soon be ironed out.
He said: "We have had some very positive talks with the club, with the player and his representative.
"I hope to be able to say more soon but for the moment nothing is signed.
"But it is going on positively and he should have a medical in the next day or so.
"He can play as a holding midfielder or go box-to-box and it is an area where we don't have a lot of experience.
"The two that are playing at the moment, [Nigel] Reo-Coker and [Stiliyan] Petrov, we saw what happened when the two were injured at the same time.
"It is an area where we need some more players and we are trying to sign quality players.
"When he was at Lille, I tried to sign him [for Lyon] and they signed him just after I left."
Makoun is understood to be flying to England on Friday night ahead of a potential move.
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