Wigan Athletic are understood to be closing in on the capture of Leeds United left-back Tom Pearce.
The 21-year-old, who hails from Ormskirk, was expected to join Championship rivals Barnsley ahead of Thursday's 5pm deadline.
But Latics have jumped to the head of the queue for the defender, who joined Leeds in 2014 after being released by Everton as a 16-year-old.
Pearce, who has represented England at Under-20 and Under-21 level, spent the second half of last term on loan with League One Scunthorpe.
He would provide competition at Latics for Antonee Robinson, who was a team-mate throughout the Everton youth ranks.