Sam Allardyce has confirmed that Everton are on the verge of sealing a move for Besiktas forward Cenk Tosun, who could even conceivably make his debut on Friday night (5 January) as the club make the short trip to Anfield for a Merseyside derby clash with Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup.
Everton have been in negotiations for the prolific Turkish international for some time as they desperately seek to remedy their glaring weakness in the final third and the proposed £25m ($33.8m) move initially looked in danger of collapsing amid reports that Besiktas had suddenly raised the asking price , spurred by interest from China.
However, the club held talks with president Fikret Orman on Wednesday and are reported to have now agreed a transfer believed to be worth in the region of £27m.
Tosun, who has not played since 23 December, would need to be registered by midday tomorrow in order to be eligible to face Liverpool and Allardyce is hopeful that could happen, although admits it would be a stretch.
"I think personal terms is the final stage," he told reporters at his pre-match press conference at Finch Farm on Thursday afternoon. "After some long negotiation we have got to that stage now. That might happen before the cup, we might even get him registered before the cup if we are lucky.
"But there is a medical and all sorts to go through so that might be very tight. Securing the player is the most important thing obviously because it has been the club's biggest area of concern."
Pressed if Tosun, 26, could at least take a seat on the bench against Liverpool if discussions are concluded in time, the manager added: "Possibly. They are quite good [in Turkey] because they have a [winter] break. It depends on his overall fitness, we wouldn't want to risk damaging him just because it's the Liverpool game, he hasn't trained for a few days.
"He wants this move to happen, there's lots of mental energy that you burn because you are waiting and hanging. You wouldn't want to put him on for that game and risk an injury, but that assessment will come from the medical and fitness staff if we do get that near."
Allardyce pointed to Tosun's established pedigree and presence in an "elite block of age" as indicators that he can be a success in the English top-flight and challenged the player to prove him right by scoring the goals that would make it an "exceptionally" good deal and value for money for Everton.
While the prospective new arrival could yet play some part against Liverpool, Leighton Baines remains unavailable along with long-term absentees Ramiro Funes Mori, Seamus Coleman and Maarten Stekelenburg.
Contract rebel Ross Barkley is not ready to make his first appearance of the season despite having returned to first-team training, while centre-back Michael Keane is unlikely to be risked after receiving a gash to the top of his foot during the 2-0 home defeat by Manchester United on New Year's Day.
"Michael Keane had to have five or six stitches right on the crown of his foot," Allardyce said. "I think it will be too dangerous to risk him, but everybody else who was in the squad [against United] I think is okay."