Skysports.com understands Crawley are set to sign Hope Akpan on a two-year contract.
The midfielder was released by Everton at the beginning of June after David Moyes decided he did not have a future at Goodison Park.
League Two newcomers Crawley are about to take advantage as a result and will win the race ahead of a number of other Football League clubs.
Akpan spent time on loan at Hull City last season and his appearances for the Tigers attracted several suitors.
But Steve Evans' Crawley are set to secure the 19-year-old for the next two seasons.