Islam Times: Prominent Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported Sunday that Cairo and Tel Aviv were close to clinching a deal "in which the spy Ilan Grapel... will be released in return for all Egyptians held in Israeli prisons".
An unnamed Israeli official also confirmed later that the deal was imminent.
Grapel was arrested on June 12 while in possession of a laptop and three cell phones containing top-secret data.
The 27-year-old alleged Israeli agent was charged with collecting information on developments in Egypt during the country's popular revolution that toppled the pro-Israeli regime of the former US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak. He was also charged with inciting sectarian tensions among youths in the Egyptian capital, urging them to engage in clashes with Egyptian security forces.
The US has been mounting pressure on Egypt to secure his release, commissioning fervently pro-Israeli and Jewish Congressman from New York, Gary Ackerman, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, with the task of negotiating with Egyptian authorities over the issue.
The US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who travelled to Egypt earlier in the month, was slated to take Grapel with him on his way back to the United States, but did not succeed in gaining the approval of Egyptian authorities for his release.