Albion hope to pull off the signing of winger Scott Sinclair in the next few days after encouraging new talks with Manchester City.
The Baggies remain optimistic a deal can be completed despite the saga looking set to extend past the start of the new Premier League season tomorrow.
The clubs are in discussions over a season-loan loan leading to a permanent deal next summer for the 24-year-old, who is Hawthorns head coach Steve Clarke’s No.1 target.
And it is understood that the loan element of the move has now been all-but agreed with a loan fee of around £2m involved.
Albion are City are locked in negotiations over the fee for next summer’s permanent switch with City asking for around £4m, taking the total cost of the move up to the £6m they paid Swansea for Sinclair a year ago.
The Baggies are reluctant to meet that valuation but it is hoped they can agree a structured deal with add-ons taking the potential total fee close to City’s asking price. It appears unlikely any deal will be agreed before tomorrow’s season opener against Southampton at The Hawthorns.
“As I sit here now I can’t say whether we’re going to spend £1m, £10m or £20m,” said Clarke.
“There are clubs that have invested a lot of money and Southampton have invested £20m in two players. But the model of this club is not to work that way so we have to find a different way to work.”
Midfielder James Morrison, meanwhile, today plotted a revenge mission against man-of-the-moment Rickie Lambert. Morrison faces Lambert for the second time in four days after the Southampton striker’s winner on his England debut overshadowed the Albion man’s stunning opener at Wembley in Scotland’s 3-2 defeat.
Morrison said: “Hopefully I can get one over on him this time. He deserved his call-up and showed some really good touches. We’ve had some good battles with him in the past – he got 15 goals last season and he’s a real handful,” said Morrison.
“He offers something different to the other England strikers.”