Stewart Downing is set to join Aston Villa after Middlesbrough agreed a fee of £12million.
Downing suffered a broken foot – ironically against Villa – in the penultimate game of last season and underwent surgery over the summer. He is not expected to be fit until September at the earliest, but O’Neill is prepared to gamble on the 24-year-old left-sided player making a full recovery.
Downing handed in a transfer request at the Riverside Stadium in January amid strong interest from Tottenham, but a move to White Hart Lane never materialised.
However, his departure is now expected to be sealed in the coming days with Gareth Southgate’s side accepting Villa’s offer.