Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says he is delighted at the prospect of defender Nemanja Vidic joining from Spartak Moscow.
The talented Vidic had also been linked with Liverpool and Fiorentina
The Serbia and Montenegro international is expected to sign for an undisclosed fee, thought to be about £7m, when the transfer window opens on 1 January.
"He is a quick, aggressive centre-half and at 24 will be a terrific addition to the squad," said Ferguson.
Vidic should join in time for the FA Cup third round trip to Burton.
He became one of the most sought-after players in Europe after informing the Russian side of his intention to quit the club during the transfer window.
Liverpool and Serie A outfit Fiorentina also expressed an interest in signing him, but United look to have won the race.
Provided he can agree personal terms and pass his medical, he could be elegible to make his Premiership debut in the Manchester derby at Eastlands on 14 January.
Vidic, who joined Spartak from Red Star Belgrade in July 2004, has seen his reputation soar after being an integral part of his national side's "famous four" defence, which conceded just one goal whilst qualifying for the World Cup.
His arrival at Old Trafford will be welcomed as many supporters have pointed to a weakness in central defence as one of the reasons for the problems which have afflicted the club this season.
With Mikael Silvestre looking uncertain in recent weeks and Wes Brown's poor record with injuries counting against him, Ferguson needs a regular partner to bring the best out in Rio Ferdinand, whose form has been erratic.