Lee Sawyer has admitted that a permanent move to Southend is an option for him in January.
The Chelsea midfielder has been on loan at Roots Hall for the past three months but will return to his parent club after Saturday's clash with Tranmere.
He has made 12 appearances for the Shrimpers and hopes to return in the New Year.
"I'm looking to come back in January. I will see what my options are then take it from there," Sawyer told the club's official website.
"Moving to Southend permanently has been discussed a little bit but we will have to see what happens between now and January and then when January actually comes as well."
Southend youngster Stuart O'Keefe, meanwhile, has put pen-to-paper on a three-year professional contract.
The 17-year-old has impressed for the youth team this term and has now set his sights on breaking into the senior side.
"I'm over the moon to have signed the contract," he said. "My main target now is to get into the first team."