Luka Modric is set to fly to Spain today to finalise his £27.5m move from Tottenham to Real Madrid.
It will end a difficult period for the player after four years at Spurs. The Croatia international was linked with a move to Chelsea last summer, but Spurs' chairman, Daniel Levy, kept him at the club despite the player's apparent discontent.
Modric, 26, who has never hidden his desire to join Jose Mourinho's side, has recently been forced to train away from the rest of the squad after the new Tottenham manager, Andre Villas-Boas, criticised the player for not travelling to the United States for the club's pre-season summer tour.
One reason for the behind-the-scenes tensions was touched on by the Croatia coach, Igor Stimac, who told the Spanish newspaper AS: "Daniel Levy promised a year ago that if an offer from Madrid arrived he would let him go. And when the offer arrived he changed his opinion. I think that this guy tries to make himself famous in the world of football, but this isn't the way to do it. When you promise something you always need to fulfil it."
But now Modric looks to be on his way to the Spanish champions, who have pursued the deal with some vigour this summer. A figure of £23.6m has been touted with add-ons bringing the total transfer up to around £27.5m, with various media outlets claiming a deal could be completed before Real Madrid open their Spanish league campaign against Valencia at the Bernabeu on Sunday.
Villas-Boas has strengthened his midfield with the signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson since replacing Harry Redknapp as Tottenham coach. He will have money to spend on new faces before the end of the month if Modric moves on, with the attacking midfielder Joao Moutinho linked with a move to rejoin his former Porto manager in London.
The agent of the Spurs midfielder Giovani dos Santos has revealed that the Mexican playmaker could move to Internazionale as part of a potential swap deal for goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
Meanwhile, Liverpool expect to sign the Turkey international Nuri Sahin on a one-year loan from Real Madrid this week, as the Anfield manager, Brendan Rodgers, continues to rebuild his midfield.
The 23-year-old was offered to Tottenham as part of the deal for Luka Modric, and had attracted interest from Arsenal, but instead the player has decided against a permanent move away from the club. Liverpool also aim to sign Cristian Tello from Barcelona in the next few days. Rodgers has already signed Fabio Borini, from Roma, and Joe Allen, from Swansea.