A clause in Santiago Vergini's loan agreement means that he will become a permanent Sunderland player if the club stays up, according to the Chronicle.
The Argentine defender has stressed his desire to remain with the Black Cats. He joined last January on a loan deal that was renewed in August for the rest of the 2014-15 campaign.
Vergini is still owned by Costa Rican side Sport Uruguay de Coronado and the Chronicle believes there is an arrangement in place whereby the versatile right-back transfers to Sunderland for good if they avoid the drop.
The player seems to be enjoying life at Sunderland, so the clause in his contract will probably serve as added motivation to get results.
"I feel very comfortable here and I’m very happy here, both in terms of being at the club and also in the city and the local area," Vergini said.
“What I really like most here is the football, but also the people here are very kind and pleasant.
“Whenever I’ve got any problems or any issues people are always very willing to help, and I’m very grateful for this.
“So I really would like to stay, and I’d also like to have some new challenges. I think we’re now, currently, in a situation that’s perhaps not as tricky as last year’s situation.
“We’re still down there fighting at the wrong end of the table, so I’d like to be able to face up to some new challenges and fight, perhaps, further up the table."
Central defender Wes Brown's contract expires in the summer, so Sunderland may see bringing Vergini in permanently as an important step.