Hearts will move to bring former captain Christophe Berra back to Tynecastle if he can secure his release from Ipswich Town.
The Edinburgh club are amongst the favourites to re-sign the 31-year-old Scotland centre-back, who is keen to negotiate his exit from Portman Road.
Berra is interested in a return to Scotland with his formative club. However, a quick move depends on him agreeing a severance package to terminate the final six months of his Ipswich contract.
Should they insist he stays in Suffolk, a summer return to Gorgie would then be the next option.
Igor Rossi's transfer to Al-Faisaly Harmah of Saudi Arabia on Friday night leaves Ian Cathro and the Hearts coaching staff short in defence. They are now waiting in the wings and will make their move the moment Berra becomes available.
With 34 Scotland caps and eight years experience in England, he is seen as a player who would offer leadership and guidance at the back alongside recent signing Aaron Hughes.
Berra came through the Hearts youth academy and was given his senior debut by Craig Levein, now the club's director of football, in 2003. He came club captain and eventually secured a £2.3million transfer to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2009.
He joined Ipswich in July 2013 but is now ready to end his time in England and return north.