Sam Surridge has suggested to the Bournemouth Daily Echo that he was ready to join Sunderland on loan on the final day of the January transfer window, but admitted that his preference was to stay with Bournemouth.
Surridge was understandably attracting some attention during the mid-season window. The 20-year-old enjoyed a superb spell with Oldham during the first-half of the campaign, scoring 12 goals in 20 appearances, including eight in 15 in League Two.
He was recalled at the start of the window, but has suggested that he could have ended the month as a Black Cats player before holding talks with Eddie Howe about his immediate future.
"With the Sunderland situation, I was ready to go until Thursday but we did not know if I was going to be allowed out," he told the Bournemouth Daily Echo.
"It was one of those things I put at the back of my mind. If it happened, it happened but the gaffer wanted me to stay and I wanted to stay. I wanted to keep pushing myself and see what I could do."
Not signing Surridge did not have too much of an impact on Sunderland's January plans. Jack Ross was able to add both Will Grigg and Kazaiah Sterling in the final hours of the window, with Grigg signing on a permanent basis.
Unfortunately for the Black Cats, both Grigg and Sterling are still awaiting their first goals for the League One side. But Sterling is an incredibly exciting talent, and Grigg has a fantastic record in League One.
Sunderland will move themselves to within one point of the top two should they manage to beat Accrington Stanley at the Stadium of Light on Friday night.