CHESTER City were last night hoping to end a troubled week by finalising a deal for striker Paul Tait.
If the 31-year-old's signing goes through as planned, he will be eligible to make his debut in tomorrow's home clash with basement boys Stockport County.
Tait - a free agent after being released by Rochdale - has been on trial with Chester and scored twice for their reserves in Monday night's 3-2 victory over Shrewsbury Town.
Blues manager Keith Curle said: 'Paul can be a building block for us. He is just the type of player we need. He's big, strong and holds the ball up well.'
Newcastle-born Tait started his career at Everton and has also had spells with Wigan Athletic, Crewe Alex and Bristol Rovers.
It has been a testing week for Chester and their fans following Saturday's 5-0 defeat at Carlisle and the subsequent sacking of assistant managers John Gannon and Dave Bell, and physio Clive Goodyear.
Goodyear and Bell ran the team last year following the departure of Ian Rush, while Gannon was a long-time ally of Curle's and worked as his number two at Mansfield Town.
Former Chester physio Joe Hinnigan has consequently returned to the club and the 51-year-old will also assist Curle in a coaching capacity.
Hinnigan - who resigned from his post at Bury earlier this week - made more than 60 appearances as a player for City after joining them in the 1988-89 season.
In another surprise development, four loan players were this week shown the door in the wake of Saturday's Brunton Park debacle.
Youngsters Mark Roberts of Crewe and the Sheffield United duo of Evan Horwood and Chris Robertson have been sent back to their clubs despite only joining Chester last week.
Winger Wayne Corden, who played just one-and-a-half games following his arrival from Scunthorpe, has returned to Glanford Park.
Centre-back Dave Artell is available for tomorrow's Stockport match after serving a suspension but midfielder Tom Curtis will still be missing as he completes a two-game ban.
* Club secretary Tony Allan has requested permission from the Football League to have a minute's silence for former Chester player Stuart Mason, who died on Sunday, before tomorrow's match.
* Chester have taken former Crystal Palace left-back Dean Gordon on trial but striker Marcus Richardson has been told he can leave on a free transfer.
* The Blues make the long trip to Boston United on Wednesday (7.45pm).