Cape Town - McLaren will reportedly confirm Carlos Sainz as Fernando Alonso's replacement before the end of this week.
Earlier this week Alonso announced he was quitting Formula 1 at the end of this season.
The double World Champion, who has yet to confirm his 2019 plans, did leave the door open for a possible return to McLaren should the team get it right in the coming years.
Alonso's announcement has all but assured Sainz, already linked to McLaren, a race-seat for next year's championship.
According to ESPN, the Renault driver has signed a two-year deal to race for McLaren with the team set to make the announcement later this week.
The only question remaining is who will partner Sainz.
While Stoffel Vandoorne believes he has done enough to secure his future, test driver Lando Norris is keen to step up to a Formula 1 race seat next season.
The latter responded to the announcement that Alonso is walking away from F1 with a tweet saying "interesting."
Sainz's move to McLaren is likely to see Pierre Gasly step up into the vacant Red Bull seat, opened by Daniel Ricciardo's move to Renault.