Hearts boss Jim Jefferies is hopeful he will have the services of Stephen Elliott at his disposal in time for their opening SPL match.
The Preston striker still has some paperwork to complete with the Deepdale club before he can secure his move to Tynecastle.
But Jefferies is confident the 26-year-old will be available for selection when his team kick off their campaign against St Johnstone next weekend.
The Jambos manager told the club's official website: "We're close to Stephen Elliott.
"That's a big help because if he can get the paperwork tidied up at Preston we can then sit down and try and work out the situation.
"We're very close to getting him but it will take until next week although I'd hope to get him into the team for next week.
"Everything is done with Preston on our side but on his side things need to be sorted out. You need to go through the usual procedures."