Former Scotland international James McFadden was today poised to sign a short-term contract with Sunderland.
The 29-year-old, who has been training with the Black Cats for some time after a six-month spell at Everton following his release by Birmingham, is expected to put pen to paper on a three-month deal within the next 24 hours.
Manager Martin O'Neill said: "With a little bit of luck, he is going to sign this afternoon, certainly by the latest, tomorrow."
"Whether it's the James McFadden of old, which would be good news for us, that's something we will have to wait and see" - Martin O'Neill
He added: "That's a short-term contract, a three-month contract, which suits all parties.
"It gives him an opportunity. One, to get as fit as he can now, which he has been doing for quite some weeks - he feels pretty good - two, to come and join the squad and three, just to try to get into the team."
McFadden will have until the New Year to prove to O'Neill that he can play a part for the club on a longer-term basis, and if he demonstrates that he can force his way into the first-team squad, the Ulsterman will be prepared to use him in the meantime.
O'Neill added: "That's the idea of taking him, and that's his idea of signing for us, that he feels he is capable of doing it.
"Now, whether it's the James McFadden of old, which would be good news for us, that's something we will have to wait and see."