Sunderland caretaker manager Ricky Sbragia is eager for Kieran Richardson to stay at the Stadium of Light.
Richardson has established himself as a key figure in the Sunderland side after enduring an injury-plagued debut season on Wearside.
He has missed just one Premier League game this term after suspension ruled him out of the 1-0 defeat at former club Manchester United earlier this month.
The England international's form in recent weeks has seen the midfielder linked with a £6million move to Bolton Wanderers in January.
Sbragia has praised the 24-year-old's performances of late and hopes Richardson will not leave the club in the New Year.
"I'd love to keep Kieran," Sbragia told Sky Sports News. "Kieran is a big player for the club.
"I think, to date, he has probably played the most games in the Premiership he's ever played in one season.
"He scored on Saturday (against Hull). He is maturing, he's got a lot of ability and can be a big player."