Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill believes goalkeeper Craig Gordon can still fit the bill at the Stadium of Light despite struggling with his fitness and form.
The Scotland international arrived on Wearside in a £9million move from SPL side Hearts in 2007, but has become the club's forgotten man during this past year following a knee injury.
Gordon's contract expires this summer which would leave him as a free agent open to offers from other clubs, but the Black Cats' manager is confident that the 29-year-old can get his career back on track at the Stadium of Light.
He told The People: "I have spoken to Craig and he has to get himself absolutely fit. If he is fit and properly raring to go at the end of the season, and is reaching anything like the form of previous times, he will be in demand, from both ourselves and other clubs.
"Once Craig is absolutely pain-free, then I think that's the time to make a judgement."
The shot-stopper has only just recently returned to reserve-team action, but has been included in Craig Levein's Scotland squad for Wednesday's international friendly in Koper.
And O'Neill added: "I'm not sure whether Craig would be the No.2 or what, but it is great for his confidence and it is a big boost for him."