Sven Goran Eriksson has reiterated his belief that winning promotion to the Premier League will be key to Leicester City's hopes of keeping Yakubu.
The striker's hat-trick against former club Middlesbrough on Saturday took his tally to seven goals in 13 appearances since joining Leicester in January from Everton.
Yakubu has previously suggested he would be happy to stay at the Walkers Stadium as Eriksson attempts to lead the club back into the top flight.
Eriksson was pleased to see the Nigerian back among the goals against Boro and hopes to hang on to Yakubu for the long term.
"I'd guess that if, touch wood, we make the play-offs and are successful, then bringing Yakubu in on a permanent transfer will be a very hot issue," said Eriksson.
"If not, then I doubt that it will happen. It will probably depend on us going up and that, of course, depends on him and his goals.
"He's very important for us. Now he's back among the goals, I hope he'll stay like this for the rest of the season."