The future of the Iranian remains a hot topic with the Blues claiming he will pen a deal with them this weekend, after negotiations on a revised deal with Osasuna this week failed
The financially-embattled Osasuna are understood to be keen to offload or the lower the salary of the 31-year-old who is their highest paid player with one year remaining on his current contract.
According to reports, talks between Osasuna and Nekounam's agent Reza Fazeli this week were unsuccessful in terms of finding a compromise deal.
Esteghlal are understood to be unwilling to the requested €2.5 million transfer fee for the Iranian and Fatollahzahed told The Tehran Times a release would need to be negotiated.
“Following negotiations with Nekounam, the player is ready to join Esteghlal and will have to negotiate with Osasuna officials to release him,” Fatollahzadeh said.
He added: “Nekounam will sign a contract with Esteghlal on Sunday."
Meanwhile, Esteghlal have loaned out midfielder Iman Mobali to Paykan to make way for the expected arrival of Nekounam.
In other news, attacking midfielder Mojtaba Jabbari has penned a new deal with the Blues following reports of a possible move to Qatar, Sepahan and Tractor Sazi.