Lukas Podolski wants to return to Arsenal when his loan expires at Inter Milan, according to manager Roberto Mancini.
Neil Redfearn has taken heart from Leeds' claims that their young first-team players will not be sold in the summer.
Press Association Sport understands the 52-year-old's appointment will be announced on Monday afternoon.
McClaren will replace Nigel Clough, who was sacked on Saturday in the wake of a 1-0 derby defeat at Nottingham Forest.
His arrival at Pride Park will mark the completion of a circle for the man who guided Middlesbrough to Carling Cup glory and FC Twente to the Dutch title.
McClaren played for Derby and returned to make his name as a coach with the Rams under Jim Smith before getting his big chance at Manchester United.
McClaren, who was in charge of England for 18 months after succeeding Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2006, has been working as first-team coach at QPR since July.