Everton have claimed they had agreed a "deal in principle" to sign Landon Donovan on loan.
The USA international on Wednesday signed a four-year deal to remain with the Los Angeles Galaxy until the end of the 2013 MLS season but the Californian club also said they were willing to let the player leave on a temporary basis in the new year.
Everton appear to be in pole position after already holding talks with the Galaxy with a view to bringing the 27-year-old to Goodison Park. The Merseyside club's website said: "Final discussions are expected in the next 48 hours after all parties agreed in principle for the two-and-half month deal to take place."
It continued: "A finalised deal is not too far away," said Everton chief executive Robert Elstone.
"Positive discussions have been ongoing and we expect to have Landon join the club when the window opens on January 2."
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena added: "A loan deal has not been finalised, we're hopeful it will and it will likely be with Everton.
"Everton is a club with a small roster and a congested schedule over the next few weeks and months.
"It's a great fit for Landon and the clubs have an understanding of the agreement. We are confident that is where he will end up."
Donovan, who is keen to move to Europe to maintain his match fitness ahead of the World Cup next summer, said: "You want to go where you are wanted and Everton have been incredibly professional and expressed their interest and I feel that is a place where I would feel very comfortable.
"There's already a lot of Americans that play there (English Premier League) and it would be interesting. But we will cross that bridge when we come to it."
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