Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet says he would like to sign Ki Sung-Yueng permanently after confirming the South Korea international will remain at the club on loan for the rest of the season.
• Randall: Sunderland prosper
Ki, 24, joined the Black Cats temporarily from Swansea in the summer and has been a revelation since Poyet's arrival in October.
And with Swans boss Michael Laudrup revealing he would not be seeking to recall the midfielder from the Stadium of Light this month, Poyet is now optimistic over agreeing a permanent deal for the former Celtic player.
“I am hoping there will be a chance for us to do something this month,” Poyet told the Journal. “They had an opportunity to recall him, but that is finished now, so hopefully that has strengthened our hand.
“It was a difficult day for me at the start of the week because I was waiting all day to hear what Swansea’s response would be. There are a couple of things that still need to be ironed out -- we have to make sure of where we are and where we want to go, and the player has to have an input into that too. But it’s easy to see that he’s enjoying his football and making a difference.
“The fact that Swansea didn’t recall him hopefully gives us a chance to do something. It is very important that he is happy. It meant so much for him to score [against Fulham on Saturday] -- he ran all the way across the pitch to celebrate -- and that shows how much he cares.
“I think he is enjoying his new position a little bit further up the pitch, and when he plays there, he can make us play. I want players with that mentality, and I think he has been the most consistent player in terms of my way of playing.”
Meanwhile, Poyet is also hoping to complete the signings of Estudiantes defender Santiago Vergini and Internacional striker Ignacio Scocco.
On Sunday, Scocco’s father revealed that his son is eager to join the Black Cats following a difficult season in Brazil.
"Today he is more likely to go to Sunderland," he told Radio La Red. "River [Plate] and Newell's [Old Boys] asked for him, but the amount that Inter wants is very high and they do not want to loan him. It is understandable, they want to recover the investment that they made and no club in Argentina can pay that money."