Everton are hopeful of completing an ambitious deal worth more than £20m for Real Madrid attacking midfielder James Rodriguez by the end of the week.
The 29-year-old Colombian played under Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti at Spanish champions Real and Bayern Munich.
Rodriguez, who has been marginalised under Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu, has been allowed to miss pre-season training to sort out his future.
It would be Ancelotti’s first major signing since becoming boss in December.
He has been the driving force behind the deal, with Rodriguez, who is entering the final year of his contract at Real Madrid, attracted by the idea of working with the Italian once more.
Rodriguez won the Golden Boot at the 2014 World Cup after scoring six goals in five games. He then joined Real from Monaco that summer in a deal worth up to £71m.
A three-year contract is under discussion as Everton look to pull off a transfer that would be regarded as a major coup and a powerful statement of intent as Ancelotti moves to reshape a side that finished 12th last season.
Everton have also agreed a deal with Napoli for 29-year-old Brazil midfielder Allan which is expected to be confirmed shortly. The Italian club’s chairman Aureolio de Laurentis has already said: “We are at the final farewell. Allan will go to Everton.”
Ancelotti made Allan a priority after working with him at Napoli while discussions are continuing with Watford over a deal for Abdoulaye Doucoure.
The French midfielder is believed to be keen on a move to Goodison Park but Watford are holding out for about £30m for the 27-year-old.