Stoke City are confident they can complete the signing of Cameroon forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting early this week, as Mark Hughes looks to bolster his attacking options.
Choupo-Moting, who left Bundesliga club Schalke at the end of last season, is among the most sought-after free agents in European football but the Potters could wrap up his signing as early as Monday (7 August).
Hughes wants to add the Cameroonian to his squad to fill the void left by the departure of Marko Arnautovic, who left the bet365 Stadium and joined West Ham United in a £25m (€27.6m, $32.6m) move last month.
Stoke have made contact with Choupo-Moting's camp and negotiations are understood to be at an advanced stage but Hughes admits the deal is yet to be completed.
"He's a player we've got an interest in and it's one of those we're hopeful of getting over the line," the Welshman was quoted as saying by the Stoke Sentinel.
"You can never say it's done until it is. I've had experiences where clubs have just jumped in at the last moment when you've done all the work and they're able to convince players. We'll just hang fire until it's actually official."
Choupo-Moting has attracted interest from a number of clubs in Europe and has reportedly been on AC Milan's radar.
The 28-year-old spent three seasons with Schalke, scoring 22 goals across 106 games in all competitions after impressing during a three-year spell in the German top-flight with Mainz. A left-winger by trade who can also play as a striker, he has scored 10 times in 42 caps for Cameroon after representing Germany, his country of birth, at Under-19 and Under-21 level.
Stoke, who beat Bundesliga side RB Leipzig 2-1 in their final pre-season friendly over the weekend, open their Premier League campaign with a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton on Saturday (12 August).
"It's been a demanding pre-season but the lads have come through it well, and have put in their best performance against their best opposition, so I think that bodes well for the season ahead," Hughes told Stoke's official website.
"As far as we are concerned, that's us done now, and we can't wait to get going next weekend - we are ready for it."