Billy Davies is set to be confirmed as the new Nottingham Forest manager on Thursday.
Davies is believed to have held talks with Forest owner Fawaz Al Hasawi on Wednesday night and is keen on a second spell in charge at the Championship club, where he feels he has "unfinished business" following his sacking in 2011.
ESPN understands the players have been informed Davies is to return to the role.
Expectation he will be installed ahead of Forest's trip to face former manager Sean O'Driscoll's Bristol City have been increased with the reported departure from Walsall of assistant manager David Kelly.
Kelly is believed to have left his post with the Saddlers just eight days after taking up a role alongside manager Dean Smith. Kelly and Davies worked together for three years at Forest, guiding the club to two play-off semi-finals, and they have previously worked in tandem at Sheffield United, Preston North End and Derby County.
Following the departure of Alex McLeish just 40 days after the Scot took the job, the Al Hasawi family are acutely aware their third managerial appointment in seven months has to be the right one. They believe the appointment of Davies would be a popular one among the supporters.
Even if an appointment is secured ahead of the Bristol City fixture, though, Davies is unlikely to take charge of the side. Assistant manager Rob Kelly has been placed at the head of team affairs for the trip to Ashton Gate.
Davies has been out of work since he left Forest in 2011 and turned down the opportunity to pursue the Blackpool job on Wednesday.
He has been linked with several clubs since leaving Forest, but it is believed his insistence on taking his entire backroom staff with him to any interested club has played a major role in him remaining out of work.
Forest's Kuwaiti owners also have the problem of John Pemberton, who recently returned to a high-ranking role in the club's academy. Pemberton was ousted by Davies shortly after the Scot began his first spell as manager and that situation will have to be resolved.