Nigel Clough is confident Everton striker James Vaughan will rejoin Derby on loan in January.
The Toffees youngster initially moved to Pride Park on a three-month deal in September, but saw his time with the Rams cut short by a knee injury.
He is now approaching a return to full fitness and is expected to be loaned out once again in the New Year.
Everton's Premier League rivals Bolton are reported to be interested, but Clough believes he remains in pole position to land the 21-year-old.
"I was not aware of Bolton's interest but I think James is keen to come back here and we have a deal in principle with Everton, so hopefully everybody will stick to that," Clough told the Rams' official website.
"A cash move could possibly change things.
"It all depends on how Everton view his future as well.
"They might think it is beneficial that he comes out and plays for us for three or four months.
"If he does well with us, there is even the possibility it will increase his value."