Hillary Clinton is set formally to abandon her White House campaign at the end of the week after having bid an emotional farewell to her loyal staff, media reports said.
The reports by several US outlets came a day after Barack Obama secured enough delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination and as the party coalesced behind the Illinois senator to take the fight to Republican John McCain.
Clinton, however, had refused to concede yesterday and said she would deliberate in the coming days.
There was no immediate comment from the Clinton campaign to the reports, which said the former first lady would bring the curtain down on her doomed drive to become the first woman president on Friday.
A Clinton insider told AFP: "She is taking the next few days to review her options and talk to party leaders and uncommitted delegates."
Clinton visited her campaign headquarters in Arlington, in Washington's Virginia suburbs, yesterday to inform most of the staff that they would no longer be required after Friday, ABC News said.
Junior staffers were said to be emotional and some were crying at the final confirmation that their 16 months of hard graft had come to naught.
On its website, The New York Times quoted a senior advisor to Clinton as saying the New York senator would likely suspend her campaign and endorse Obama on Friday at the urging of Democratic members of Congress keen to fight McCain.
Clinton was likely to make the announcement in New York City, but no final venue has been chosen, the newspaper said.