Work is under way to strike a deal between Labour, Tory and Independents to form a minority coalition for Aberdeen City Council, the Evening Express understands.
A Town House source revealed the three groups were making efforts to reach an agreement before the deadline on Wednesday.
It came despite the SNP gaining the most seats at the local authority ballot, with 19 councillors elected.
The source said: “Efforts are under way to sign a deal. We’re working hard to make the deadline, we’re very conscious there is a deadline.”
It was also revealed the next administration is likely to be headed up by a co-leader system, shared between Conservatives and Labour.
Labour dropped from 17 seats to nine on May 4, while the Conservatives saw their numbers increase from two councillors to 11.
There are now two independent councillors in the Town House. This would give the group a minority coalition of 22 – one below the 23 needed for a majority.
The Nationalists have repeatedly ruled out working with the Conservatives.
SNP group leader Stephen Flynn said: “All parties need to get the best deal for Aberdeen.”
A source close to Labour claimed the nationalists offered former council leader Jenny Laing a “co-leader” role in a bid to woo the party to join a coalition.
But it was suggested this wouldn’t happen because of the previous hostile relation between the two parties.
Liberal Democrats group leader Ian Yuill previously said his “best bet” was on a coalition between the Conservatives and Labour.
The Lib Dems, with four councillors, decided not to go into coalition with any party after holding round-the-table talks with other party bosses.
Members have to make an agreement before the inaugural council meeting on Wednesday, where a council leader and Lord Provost are to be appointed.