Hartlepool United are on the verge of unveiling Sunderland defender Michael Ledger.
The central defender has been lined up by manager Craig Harrison for much of the summer, but a number of issues have caused the deal to be held up.
Although, having played the long game, Pools now appear to have their man, with Ledger set to pen a season-long loan deal at Victoria Park this week.
And although Ledger is unavailable this afternoon, he is expected to slot straight into the squad for this weekend’s home clash with Maidstone United.
In fact, it is likely that the Consett-born 20-year-old will be thrown straight into the starting XI, with fitness doubts over a number of key Pools defenders, including first choice pairing Scott Harrison and Louis Laing.
Ledger is a player who has been given a chance to prove his worth this summer by Black Cats boss Simon Grayson.
But having seen his route to the first-team blocked by Lamine Kone, John O’Shea, Tyias Browning, Brendan Galloway and Papy Djilobodji, Ledger has been allowed to leave the Stadium of Light.
The defender has been a key member of Sunderland’s Under-23 side, and also spent much of last season on loan at Viking in Norway’s top flight, the Eliteserien.
He could make his debut alongside fellow new boy Keith Watson this weekend, who made his Pools bow against AFC Fylde, having last week signed a loan deal from St Johnstone until January.
Meanwhile, Pools are not believed to be done yet in the transfer market.
Manager Harrison has been on record lately stating his desire to reinforce his squad in every department, should the right kind of player become available.
Harrison is understood to still be in the hunt for another striker, having lost Padraig Amond to Newport County recently.
Amond scored on his League Two debut for his new club on Saturday, netting and providing an assist in a 4-1 win over Chesterfield at Rodney Parade.