John Obi Mikel has completed his Boro medical and agreed personal terms to join Middlesbrough FC, with the deal expected to be wrapped up today.
The deal is likely to be a short-term, pay as you play deal until the end of the season.
Mikel, 31, left Chelsea in 2017 after a successful spell at Stamford Bridge, winning every trophy on offer.
He joined Chinese club Tianjin Teda 2 years ago, however he left the club by mutual consent last month.
There has been strong interest in the midfielder from Premier League side Crystal Palace, while Derby County had also reportedly enquired about the player.
With Mikel’s imminent arrival, it appears this may pave the way for a departure from Boro’s midfield unit, with Grant Leadbitter linked to a move back to Sunderland.
Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers are also keen on signing the 33-year-old in the January transfer window.
The midfielder, who has made 500 career appearances, had been linked with a move to Ipswich earlier in the transfer window but it now seems likely that a deal may be done for his Riverside departure.
Leadbitter left Sunderland in 2009 to Ipswich Town, before joining Boro in 2012 where he's made over 200 appearances. He is one of four reported players allowed to leave the club this window, with Boro open to offers for Ashley Fletcher, Rudy Gestede and Britt Assombalonga.