Dundalk are likely to wrap up the signing of a new midfielder ahead of the start of the new campaign this weekend.
It is understood that Central African Republic international Wilfried Zahibo has agreed terms for a move to Oriel Park.
The 27-year-old French-born player has most recently been plying his trade in the MLS where he was named in the 2018 MLS All Star team following a successful debut season at New England Revolution.
A free agent since departing Houston Dynamo at the end of last year, Zahibo has previously played in France for Ajaccio and also in La Liga for Valencia where he made his debut under Gary Neville.
The 6ft 2in midfielder, who was raised in Guadeloupe, also has four caps for his country who are captained by Atletico Madrid’s Geoffrey Kondogbia.
Fluent in English, French and Spanish, Zahibo has already agreed terms with Dundalk with the deal expected to be finalised soon.
It may be a couple of weeks before he is available for selection, however, as it is understood he is returning to France before coming to Ireland with isolation periods in both countries meaning that a possible debut in Dundalk’s league opener away to Sligo Rovers this Saturday (kick-off 6pm, live on WATCHLOI) is out of the question.
Another French-born player could also be signed by the club this week.
As exclusively revealed by The Argus last week, Irish U-19 international Tom Gaston is arriving on trial.
The 20-year-old French born defender came through the ranks at his home town club Bordeaux without making a first-team appearance before spending time at the Portland Timbers in America last year.
He has played four matches at underage level for Ireland under Jim Crawford in recent years with Ireland winning all of them without conceding. Among the high-profile team-mates he would have played with include Adam Idah, Jason Knight, Aaron Connolly and Will Smallbone.
While he was born and grew up in France, he is eligible to play for Ireland through his Dublin-born mother.
A third goalkeeper also is also on the agenda with Shamrock Rovers youngster Alex Moody training with Dundalk this week while the club could also be set for a return to the South Korean market for a new winger having missed out on Han Eui-gwon recently after the 26-year-old failed to secure a work permit.
Asked about the possibility of new arrivals, team manager Shane Keegan refused to comment on the speculation, saying: “I can’t really say a whole lot on it outside of the fact that if there are players who are out of contract and who are gettable for us and as a group we feel they’d improve the squad then the club have said that they’re willing to give us the backing to make it happen if we feel a suitable player is out there.”