Sunderland boss Roy Keane admits he would not expect a clear run at signing Jonny Evans on a permanent basis.
Manchester United defender Evans is enjoying his second loan spell at the Stadium of Light and has said he would be prepared to discuss a long-term deal.
Keane welcomed the Northern Ireland international's comments, but predicts there would be plenty of competition, if United decided to sell.
"If Jonny is made available, if you think we would be the only club in for Jonny, then you would be in cuckoo land," said Keane.
"I reckon there would be about 20 clubs in for him."
Any prospect of the Black Cats keeping Evans for the long term could hinge on the club staving off the threat of relegation from the Premier League.
Sunderland are on a run of 126 games since posting back-to-back wins in the top flight and Keane acknowledged it is a record which needs addressing.
He added: "We know if we want to achieve anything as a football club, then trust me, we need to be consistent.
"Consistency is sometimes just an unbeaten run - that's what got us promoted last year, particularly in the second half of the season.
"But if there was ever a time to go on a consistent run, it would be now.
"But that's unbelievable, that amount of games not to get back-to-back victories, so we will try to put that straight."