Sheffield United will sign Oliver Norwood during the January transfer window after negotiating a loan to buy agreement for the Northern Ireland midfielder.
Norwood, who was the subject of two bids from Hull City earlier this summer, has arrived at Bramall Lane ahead of tomorrow's Carabao Cup tie against Nigel Adkins' side after being granted permission to leave Brighton and Hove Albion.
Capturing the 27-year-old represents a major coup for United and explains Chris Wilder's decision to sanction Lee Evans' departure ahead of yesterday's victory over Queens Park Rangers. In a further statement of intent, Bramall Lane's hierarchy have reached an understanding that the deal will become permanent later this term for an as yet undisclosed fee.
Speaking after goals from David McGoldrick and Billy Sharp secured United's first points of the season, Wilder revealed he was "close" to unveiling "one, possibly two" new faces ahead of Saturday's game against Norwich City.
"We're pretty close," Wilder said. "We're close to one definitely who we feel should be in the building on Monday morning. And hopefully there should be another one as well before the weekend. I do believe, when the window shuts, we'll be stronger in terms of personnel. We'll show we're here to compete."
United rubber-stamped Evans' switch to Wigan Athletic when Wilder, who also revealed Sharp had turned down the chance to join Sunderland before travelling to Loftus Road, suspected he wanted to hold talks with their Championship rivals.
"I wasn't being ultra critical of him, Lee, when I said what I said," Wilder continued. "I told Bill about Sunderland. I don't want this to become a scenario regarding Lee. He's a good young player who did well for us. But I got an emphatic one from Bill when I put it to him. I possibly wasted a minute of my life asking him because he doesn't want to go anywhere. I'm chuffed, really chuffed, for him."
Norwood, who progressed through the ranks at Manchester United before spells with Huddersfield Town and Reading, has a year remaining on his contract with Albion. Capped 53 times by his country, he scored five goals in 41 appearances after joining Fulham on loan last term, helping the Londoners gain promotion to the Premier League.