Hossam Ghaly appears ready to miss the African Nations Cup with Egypt to seal a loan move to Derby from Tottenham.
Ghaly has not played for Spurs since getting substituted by former boss Martin Jol towards the end of last season and throwing his shirt away in anger.
The 26-year-old was deemed surplus to requirements under new head coach Juande Ramos and was granted permission to train with Egyptian club Al Ahly to build his fitness for the African Nations Cup.
But Samier Zaher, president of the Egyptian Football Association, told BBC Sport: 'Ghaly told us that he will not be able to play in Ghana because he needs to secure his move to Derby.
'We understood his position, especially as it will be too late for him to find another club after the Nations Cup.'
Ghaly wants to put himself in the shop window with a short-term move to Pride Park.
'We've contacted Tottenham and spoken to the player and he's keen to come but we might have to go to a work permit appeal,' Derby boss Paul Jewell told BBC Radio Derby.
'That might be 10 days or so before that happens.'