West Bromwich Albion were today expected to complete a deal for Uruguay captain Diego Lugano.
The 32-year-old has held talks and had a medical with the Baggies after Paris Saint-Germain sanctioned his exit on a free transfer. He is expected to watch his potential new team-mates when they face Italian side Genoa at AFC Telford tonight (7.30pm).
The Baggies are targeting extra competition for first-choice centre-backs Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley and see Lugano as the man to provide it.
His contract in the French capital expires next summer and PSG are happy to remove him from the wage bill.
The signing of another centre-back could clear the way for Craig Dawson to head out of The Hawthorns again on loan after his impressive stint at Bolton, or for Gabriel Tamas to seek a move away.
Tamas has struggled to provide stern competition for Olsson and McAuley since the arrival of Steve Clarke as head coach.
And Dawson has not fully convinced the head coach he is ready for Premier League action despite his encouraging stint at the Reebok Stadium.
Lugano fell out of favour in Paris but played 11 times for Malaga on loan last season and represented Uruguay in this summer’s Confederations Cup.
In the previous season, the 6ft 2in stopper made 12 Ligue 1 and five Europa League appearances for PSG after arriving from Fenerbache in 2011 following five years in Turkey, during which he gained Champions League experience.
While attacking reinforcements have been Clarke’s top summer priority, the Hawthorns head coach has been keen to add more options at centre-back and has already failed in a bid to sign Napoli’s Argentina international Federico Fernandez on loan. Lugano also has experience of playing as a full-back.
Meanwhile, the Baggies remain in discussions over potential loan deals for Udinese striker Matej Vydra and Manchester City wideman Scott Sinclair.
Vydra remains keen to return to England where he enjoyed a successful season with Watford and was voted Championship player of the year. But Udinese have yet to agree a loan deal with any club – West Ham are also keen.
Sinclair looks set to leave City on loan after a frustrating first season at the Etihad Stadium.
Albion have offered a contract to Lille forward Salomon Kalou and are awaiting his response.