Gus Poyet is desperate to sign Liverpool striker Fabio Borini on a permanent basis at the end of the season - but admits he's probably heading back to Anfield.
As reported by the Daily Mail, the Sunderland boss said he is resigned to seeing Borini head back to Liverpool at the end of the season.
But he says he will do everything in his power to keep him at the Stadium of Light if Liverpool make it clear they would be willing to listen to offers for the forward.
Poyet has been delighted with the performances of the on-loan Liverpool striker, even going as far as to label to forward a "legend".
He said: "Fabio has become a hero, a legend, which is great. He has really got into the club and the fans. He lives football, he's a top professional, he's always on time, he's always trying to be better in training.
"He's that type of person, he's always looking after what he's eating or what he's not eating.
"And when you score goals in special games, at special times like he did it gets you closer to people and gets you to play better. He's showing what a good player he is.
"In the beginning it was my fault he was not playing. Now, if he's not the first one you pick, he'll be the next one. He's at that level.
"I don’t know if it will be possible to sign him, it's out of our hands but I can tell you that we like him a lot and we will try.
"People will say the price is going up. I'm not going to lie, he's an important player, he's been great. I hope he finishes the season at the same level scoring important goals.
"If he makes us safe in the next five games then I won't play him in the next five. Then maybe everyone will forget about him. "Fabio Borini, oh yeah rubbish," so then we can buy him."
Liverpool let Borini go on loan this season after a disappointing first campaign at Anfield. Brendan Rodgers has plenty of options at the club, including star duo Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
Should he return to Anfield this summer, Borini would have a hard time cracking the starting lineup - but after an impressive loan spell north east he may feel the time is right for a second crack at Liverpool.