Wigan Athletic are set to beat a host of Championship clubs to the signing of John Lundstram, HITC Sport understands from sources close to the potential deal.
The 21-year-old is a free agent after leaving Everton, where he came through the youth ranks.
Despite not playing for Everton's first team, he has gained value experience during loan stints at the likes of Leyton Orient, Blackpool and Doncaster Rovers - playing in nearly 50 games.
Now a number of clubs have been tracking the England youth international, with Crewe Alexandra one of those interested.
But HITC Sport understands that Wigan have persuaded him to move to the DW Stadium.
Despite dropping out of the second tier last season, the Latics are piecing together ambitions plans to bounce back at the first time of asking and have been able to pip a number of rivals in the pursuit of Lundstram.
The youngster will help to bolster the midfield options available to rookie Wigan manager Gary Caldwell.