Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill remains confident Danny Rose will remain at the Stadium of Light for the rest of the campaign.
The full-back has been one of the Black Cats' star performers since he arrived on a season-long loan in August but there is a clause in his contract allowing Tottenham to recall him in January.
O'Neill is yet to discuss the 22-year-old's immediate future with the White Hart Lane hierarchy but is hopeful that the imminent return to fitness of Benoit Assou-Ekotto will mean they have no need to recall Rose.
O'Neill told the Sunderland Echo: "We have not spoken to Tottenham about it in any sort of formal way.
"I think Tottenham are happy he's plying his trade here and I think Assou-Ekotto is coming into fitness now, so while they have the ability to recall him in January, they might feel they are well enough stocked now.
"Danny has improved immensely since he arrived and I think there's a bit more to come as well. He's got a bit of confidence now.
"When he first got here I think he was conscious of avoiding making too many mistakes. That was his focus.
"But he's playing with a bit more freedom now. Initially he was happy just to give the ball to someone in front of him, but now he's looking to make things happen himself and he's doing very well."
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