Dave Penney insists Chris O'Grady will be returning to Oldham Athletic in January and will not extend his loan at Rochdale.
O'Grady has scored nine goals in 20 appearances during the first half of the season at Rochdale after failing to make an impact at Boundary Park.
Dale boss Keith Hill has outlined his determination to agree a deal to keep the 23-year-old at least until the end of the season.
However, Latics boss Penney wants O'Grady back in the New Year to boost an injury-hit side who are the joint-lowest scorers in League One.
"Chris wasn't going to get a look-in here if things had gone to plan," said Penney.
"Obviously with the injuries that we have had, we need him back here now and if we could have fetched him back last month, we would have done so.
"But the terms of the loan state he has to stay there until January, so as soon as that time comes up he will be coming back."