Scunthorpe manager Ian Baraclough has admitted he would welcome back Paul Hayes for a third spell at the club.
The 27-year-old striker moved to Preston in the summer but has failed to settle at Deepdale and has been loaned out to Barnsley until 1st January.
Hayes signed a three-year deal with Preston but should their fellow Championship strugglers be willing to let Hayes leave early then Baraclough would be interested in a reunion.
"If there was a chance to bring him back and he wanted to come back then of course I would be interested," said the Iron boss.
"Obviously I'm not allowed to approach anybody until January."
Hayes joined Scunthorpe in December 2002 after failing to make a first-team appearance for Norwich.
He then made a permanent move to Barnsley in 2005 before rejoining the Iron in 2007, and has scored a total of 74 goals in 215 starts for the club.
Baraclough was a player and later first-team coach during Hayes' time at Glanford Park and they have remained in touch following his summer switch.
"I've spoken to Paul since he left the club," Baraclough added.
"He's called me to see how I'm getting on, to wish me well and we've had a chat as friends.
"Paul has asked my advice on one or two occasions so hopefully if he's got a problem at the moment he would pick up the telephone if he wanted to speak to me.
"I like Paul as a person and as a player, and I'm always here if he needs a chat."