Nottingham Forest manager Sean O'Driscoll has been impressed by trialist Stephen McLaughlin and the Reds have agreed a fee with Derry City for the winger.
Forest look set to sign the 22-year-old following his stint at the City Ground, with O'Driscoll tipping the player to make an immediate impact in the npower Championship.
"He looks to be a talented boy," O'Driscoll told the Irish Independent. "He can play on the right or the left, he is 22 and has great potential.
"I don't think you can wait a couple of years for him to come through. He has impressed in training. The dilemma is whether you throw him in because he has that potential.
"We want to be in a position where we can give him a chance. He has potential, and this club has a history of bringing through good young players. We want to continue that.
"The fee has been arranged, there are just one or two other things we need to sort out."
McLaughlin was James McClean's understudy at Derry City before stepping into his boots when he moved to Sunderland.
The Donegal native was one of the Candystripes' star performers in 2012 and was integral to their FAI Cup final success over St Patrick's last month.