Sky Sports sources understand Fulham are emerging as the favourites to lure Kieran Richardson back to London.
The Greenwich-born former West Ham United youth-team member wants a return to the capital for family reasons after five years in the North East with Sunderland.
Richardson, 27, has just one year remaining on his existing contract and Martin O'Neill has reluctantly accepted he is likely to depart before Friday night's transfer deadline.
Queens Park Rangers, Everton, Reading and West Ham have all been linked with the versatile player this summer as the speculation over his future has rapidly grown.
However, Martin Jol's admiration of the former Manchester United man has put the Cottagers in pole position to claim his signature.
But a deal to take Richardson to West London is not moving as swiftly as Jol would like as Fulham struggle to raise the cash.