McDonald’s future with the A-League new boys has been in question since a mid-December fallout with coach Mark Rudan.
And on Friday it became clear that, with the aid of players union mediation, the 36-year-old marksman was free to cut ties with United and add firepower to a Roar front line crying out for goals.
McDonald was left out of Western United’s squad for Friday’s derby against Melbourne City, with Brisbane hoping to have the paperwork finalised on his move north over the weekend.
It’s anticipated that McDonald - who scored once in nine appearances for United on his long-awaited return to Australia - could make his debut in Saturday week’s visit of Melbourne City.
Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners were also in the market for McDonald when it became apparent his relationship with Rudan had soured.
But, it’s understood, the desire to work under legendary Liverpool goal king turned rookie coach Robbie Fowler was always his preference once the PFA acted to resolve a dispute over the terms of his release and facilitate a contract termination.
The move provides a fresh platform for McDonald to showcase his ruthless instincts - and slick involvement in build up play - at a club buoyed by Wednesday’s 2-1 win at Western Sydney Wanderers.
With just 12 goals scored in 11 games, Brisbane sit three points off the playoffs in ninth spot.
The belief is that McDonald’s guile in the final third could help change the course of their season.