CHARIS Mavrias is understood to be wary of returning to his homeland with former club Panathinaikos.
The Echo reported last month how the Greek outfit were looking to re-sign Mavrias on loan in the January transfer window - only 18 months after offloading him to Sunderland in a £2million deal.
Mavrias, who started for Greece in Tuesday’s friendly against Serbia, has been an unused substitute on nine occasions this season and still hasn’t made a Premier League appearance under Gus Poyet.
That has not gone unnoticed by Panathinaikos, who are expected to push ahead with a loan move for the winger when the transfer window opens.
However, sources in Greece have indicated that both Mavrias and his camp are reluctant to return home and are concerned that it would be backwards step in his progression.
There are also question marks over whether Panathinaikos would even be able to afford the loan fee for the 20-year-old - one of the few survivors of ex-director of football Roberto De Fanti’s spending spree in the summer of 2013.
Sunderland received several loan enquiries for Mavrias last January, thought to have included interest from Championship outfit Reading.
But Poyet, who was impressed by Mavrias’ performances during pre-season, declared earlier this season that he was not looking to send him out on loan, due to the thin size of Sunderland’s squad.
With fellow widemen Emanuele Giaccherini and Ricky Alvarez on the verge of returning to full fitness though and Sunderland facing the opportunity to boost their ranks in the January window, the Black Cats may be more receptive to letting Mavrias leave to play regular first-team football.