Everton's plans for a new stadium have moved a step closer after the club agreed to lease the land at Bramley Moore Dock.
The lease for the proposed site, located at Liverpool Waters, will run for a period of 200 years at a nominal rate, but is conditional upon gaining planning consent and securing funding for the construction of a venue that will replace the historic Goodison Park as the home of the Toffees.
According to a statement on Everton's website, the agreement with Peel Land and Property (Ports) Limited is "the culmination of an exhaustive search across the city".
"Gaining control of the site was essential for us to be able to move forward with the next stages of the project - finalising the funding agreement with the council and preparing for the submission of a planning application - both of which we hope to do in the new year," Everton chief executive Robert Elstone said in the statement.
"I'd like to thank Peel as well as Mayor [Joe] Anderson and his colleagues at the council for their support in getting us to this point."
It is hoped that building a new stadium will serve as the catalyst for £5.5 billion of regeneration proposals in the north of the city, including a new cruiser liner facility.
The latest positive developments will be a particularly welcome distraction to Everton's recent problems on the pitch.
The team are 16th in the Premier League table, with the club yet to appoint a permanent successor to Ronald Koeman after the Dutchman was sacked in October.