Stuart Pearce insists that Jack Hunt would favour a move to Nottingham Forest in January, if given the choice by Crystal Palace.
Hunt's future has been thrown into doubt, after Palace's co-chairman Steve Parish stated that Neil Warnock may choose to keep him in January - much to Forest's annoyance.
The Reds had wanted to sign Hunt on a permanent deal in January, after his brilliant displays since joining on loan, but Palace moving the boundaries has thrown the transfer into doubt.
It now seems that Hunt may stay at Selhurst Park when his loan move expires, but Pearce believes that he would rather move to the City Ground.
"It is something we are still looking to do. We agreed a price with Palace, three or four weeks ago, but they are at liberty to put their price up, which they have done," he said to the Nottingham Post. "They quoted us a higher price than the one we agreed.
"Jack is their player and we are benefiting from having him here. We hope we can secure his services in January, if Palace are willing to do business at a value that is suitable to them and suitable to us.
"If a fee can be agreed we can probably do the deal. If they continue to talk about the figures they are quoting, then we probably cannot. We will see how it develops.
"But if we cannot agree a fee, nothing can be done. It is a shame, because I think he would like to join us permanently. He feels loved and wanted here."
If Hunt does leave Forest in January, he is likely to leave a Championship promotion fight for a Premier League relegation struggle.
He also may have to give up a regular place in the first-team to become a back-up choice if he does move.
Joel Ward is an excellent right-back and displacing him at Palace would be a tough task.
At Forest, though, Hunt is a key man and he has formed a solid partnership with the rest of the defenders at the club.
Although Pearce's side attacking intent has earned them a lot of praise, they have also been resolute defensively and Hunt is a major reason behind their unbeaten record so far.