Stoke are close to sealing Derby boss Gary Rowett as their new manager, Sky Sports News understands.
Derby have accepted the £1.8m compensation figure from the newly-relegated Potters, and they are nearing the agreement of personal terms with the 43-year-old after being given permission to speak to him by the Rams.
The duration of the contract is thought to be one of few matters still to sort, with Rowett wanting a four-year deal but Stoke so far only offering three. It is not thought to be a deal-breaker.
Owner Mel Morris was reluctant to let Rowett leave but it is understood his position softened after acknowledging it would be difficult to stand in Rowett's way in the face of Stoke's financial clout.
Rowett could therefore be announced as Stoke's successor to Paul Lambert by the middle of this week.
Sky Sports News reported earlier on Monday Stoke had approached their Midlands rivals for permission to speak to Rowett. whose side were beaten by Fulham in the Championship play-off semi-finals.
They had made him top of a list of candidates that also includes former Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy and ex-Leicester boss Nigel Pearson, but not David Moyes nor Sam Allardyce, as was widely reported.
Rowett began his managerial career with Burton Albion in 2012 and put them in two League One play-off campaigns, including the 2014 final against Fleetwood, before being picked up by Birmingham City later that year.
He put the Blues on course for the Championship play-offs before being controversially sacked and replaced by Gianfranco Zola in December 2016, which preceded Birmingham's plummet towards the relegation zone.
The former Everton and Leicester defender took over at Derby in March 2017 and was linked with the Stoke job in January this year while the Rams were second in the Championship, before they ultimately finished sixth.