Sunderland have won the battle to bring John Mensah back to the Stadium of Light.
French club Lyon will accept a similar deal to last season's year-long loan for the Ghanaian centre-back.
Sunderland paid all Mensah's wages last season, but they are understood to have negotiated improved terms for the popular defender's return
The move for Mensah could be rubber-stamped this week, giving Steve Bruce's central defensive options for the 2010/11 season a much more impressive look.
Lyon had hoped they'd be able to sell on their injury-prone defender who steered his country into the last eight of the World Cup.
Europe's top clubs, though, know all about the African's injury record and none came calling.
One German club inquired about such a loan, giving the French club hope of a major financial saving.
But Mensah has been desperate to return to the Stadium of Light and has pushed hard to come back.
He loved his time at the club last season, his family settled well in England and he enjoyed working under the management of Steve Bruce.
He failed to report back to training at the Stade Gerland last Thursday, and Lyon manager Claude Puel said: "When he returns, he will train with the Pro 2 squad."
The punishment of training with the reserve squad now looks as though it will not be necessary with Lyon and Sunderland set to agree a second season-long loan deal.
Mensah's impending arrival will delight Sunderland fans who thrilled to his virtuoso defending in the 17 first-team games he was involved in last season.
It will also swell the number of central defenders on Bruce's books to six, with Mensah, Michael Turner, Titus Bramble, Paulo Da Silva, Matt Kilgallon and Anton Ferdinand.
Meanwhile, Kieran Richardson is close to clinching an extended contract with the Black Cats, with Bruce adding: "We hope it will get done, and we hope we'll be able to announce something shortly.
"I think the chairman has made a few inroads into that.
Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop
Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY
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