The WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion has to face IBF mandatory Pulev before he can take on WBC title holder Fury.
And promoter Eddie Hearn is planning to stage that clash on either December 5 or 12.
Fury’s third bout with Wilder is pencilled in for December 19, potentially in Las Vegas.
Matchroom boss Hearn wants to go first with Joshua but that will help build the hype for the undisputed clash between the Brits even more if both men win.
Hearn said: “It looks like Fury-Wilder is December 19, so we will most likely go on December 5 or 12, to give ourselves as much time as possible.
“AJ would probably go the end of October or middle or November, but for the sake of three-to-four weeks, you are only going to box once this year.”
Hearn admits the danger of waiting is that lockdown restrictions return which could see Joshua and other fighters left without a bout this year.
But he met with Joshua and trainer Rob McCracken on Tuesday night to discuss plans for the Pulev clash.
Joshua is aware he won’t receive as big a pay day for the showdown with the Bulgarian after the June bout at Tottenham Hotspur – which would have brought in £5m at the gate – was shelved.
Hearn said: “He’s good, he gets it. He knows the numbers that would have been for June.
“When you talk to him and Robert McCracken, He’s not suffering for a few quid, so he needs to progress his career in the right way and more importantly prepare for the Tyson Fury fight.
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“Pulev, coming off a year lay-off, is really good preparation, in my opinion, for Tyson Fury.
“Not stylistically, but just to get in with a big heavyweight, get that big momentum, hopefully score a big knockout and move forward into that fight in 2021.
“We would have taken £5m on the gate, so now there is a £5m hole in the AJ fight.
“How are we going to get round that? Pulev take less? AJ take less? Maybe condense the card a little bit? Maybe get 2,000 people in somewhere to pay premium price seats.”