France's Under-21 midfielder Jeremy Toulalan is reported to be joining Ligue 1 champions Lyon.
Chairman Jean-Michel Aulas has long been an admirer of the Nantes youngster, who Ouest France have announced has already passed a medical at the Stade de Gerland.
A pre-contract agreement has been found between the clubs, in a deal said to be worth around é¼7.5 million.
The deal could indicate the inevitability that attacking midfielder Mahamadou Diarra is on his way out of Lyon.
Diarra has been watched closely by Manchester United and Real Madrid for some time now and Gerard Houllier's signing of another midfielder will only serve to fuel speculation on the Mali international's future.
Toulalan is the latest star to come out of the highly regarded Nantes youth academy, following the successes of Marcel Desailly, Didier Deschamps and Christian Karembeu.
The 22-year-old is the second key player to leave Les Canaris this summer, after club captain Mickael Landreau's agreement to join Paris Saint Germain.
The goalkeeper has also opted to leave the small French club, who are 14th in Ligue 1 with two games remaining.