Sunderland boss Chris Coleman has confirmed there is a clause in Lewis Grabban's loan deal that would allow Bournemouth to recall him in January.
But Coleman says the club's top scorer is happy on Wearside and says there has been no indication at this stage that the Cherries would look to recall Grabban, with interest in him from Championship rivals Fulham and Wolves.
Ultimately the final decision will rest with Bournemouth but Coleman hopes the striker will stay at Sunderland for the rest of the campaign.
Grabban, who has scored 10 goals in 15 league games, is on a season-long loan deal but his stunning form in a struggling Sunderland side has caught the attention of other Championship teams.
Both Wolves and Fulham are keen to land the 29-year-old on a permanent deal when the January transfer window opens.
It would be a major blow to Sunderland, struggling in the Championship relegation zone, if Grabban’s loan was to finish early and the cash-strapped Black Cats would struggle to match the financial clout of their Championship rivals in trying to sign him on a permanent basis.
Coleman was asked about the loan recall clause at his pre-match press conference.
The Sunderland boss said: "They could do if they want to, that is in the contract, there is nothing we could do about that.
"But as far as I understand there has been no indication that will be the case. I think I am correct in saying Lewis is happy here, he has done a very good job, scored good goals, very important goals. He is very important to us.
"There is nothing we can do, there is a clause to say he can go back but I have not been told by anyone there is an indication that is the case, it will be up to Bournemouth.
"As I sit here, I hope Lewis is here for the rest of the season, of course, like any other Sunderland fan and all the signs from the player are good.
"He enjoys his football, he has been scoring and hopefully that will continue."
Grabban has played for 10 clubs in his career including Millwall, Bournemouth, Norwich City and Reading.
Bournemouth re-signed Grabban from Norwich for £7million in January 2016 but he made only 18 appearances before joining Reading and then Sunderland on loan.