Sebastian Coates has said he is open to the possibility of staying at Sunderland after spending the 2014/15 season on loan from Liverpool.
The Uruguayan has impressed in recent weeks as the Black Cats have managed to fight off the threat of relegation from the Premier League, with their status confirmed on Wednesday night with a 0-0 draw at Arsenal - where Coates put in a terrific performance.
After a serious knee injury sustained last season, Coates was sent on loan in order to get important game time under his belt, and given that competition looks pretty fierce at Anfield, he's quoted in the Chronicle seemingly entertaining the idea of staying at the Stadium of Light.
He said: “Yes, it’s something I’d consider if it became a possibility.
“I don’t know what is going to happen yet, I have to go back to Liverpool and then we’ll see.
“It’s good to play and to show what I can do after the manager [Advocaat] has had confidence in me.
“Every player needs games and sometimes that’s the key.”
With Liverpool's defence still proving to be a problem, it isn't completely out of the question that Brendan Rodgers may want to keep hold of Coates. The Reds do have another central defender out on loan in Tiago Ilori - so it may not be just the current set of four defenders that Coates would have to battle with in order to get regular game time next season.
For his career, it could be a better move for him to stay at Sunderland, though Coates seemed to suggest he would like to play for the Reds but did not rule out the possibility of making a permanent move away from Anfield.
Either way, it is a big summer ahead for Coates, who has shown that playing regularly works for him a lot more than being a bit-part player.