Both deals are subject to medicals and the agreement of personal terms for both players. If these are successfully concluded, it is hoped that the transfers will be announced some time next week.
The 6ft 3" inch Kanoute began his career at French club Lyon before initially making a loan switch to Upton Park in March 2000.
The 26-year-old signed for the Hammers in May of the same year and has since made 92 senior appearances in total - scoring 33 goals.
Etherington joined the club from Peterborough in 1999 and has made 51 appearances, scoring on two occasions.
The Club has reached agreement with West Ham for the transfer of Frederic Kanoute - with midfielder Matthew Etherington set to move in the opposite direction.