Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is keeping his fingers crossed over loan signings Danny Welbeck and Nedum Onuoha.
The 19-year-old Manchester United striker Welbeck and his 24-year-old team-mate, who belongs to derby rivals Manchester City, are both on season-long deals at the Stadium of Light.
Bruce had been delighted with the contribution of the two men, particularly in recent weeks, and admits they are the kind of players he would like to keep.
However, with Sir Alex Ferguson having already fired a warning shot across the Black Cats' bows over Welbeck, who has scored four Barclays
Premier League goals in as many games to illustrate his blossoming talent, he knows that might prove easier said than done.
Bruce said: "The one thing I have got to do is be respectful to their two clubs.
"They are two young players and they one thing they have benefited from is playing here, and that was the big thing.
"Especially loan players you bring in who are not yours, you want them to come into the group and they want to make an impact.
"Being here has certainly done that for the pair of them, Nedum with a wonder goal at Chelsea, and Danny Welbeck in the last couple of games
in particular has been outstanding.
"His contribution at Chelsea and his contribution against Everton was that of a young player who is full of confidence and who is enjoying football and is enjoying the challenge.
"I have to say they are both great lads as well. They are just the type you would love to bring to your club and make them permanent if you could.
"Whether that's possible, we will see."
Meanwhile, Paraguay international defender Paulo da Silva is attracting interest from Mexico after failing to break into the Sunderland team with former club Toluca and Cruz Azul both monitoring his situation.