Sunderland will recall Jordan Pickford in January, according to the Lancashire Evening Post.
Pickford is currently on loan at Championship club Preston North End, but sources in the North-East understand that Sam Allardyce is keen to bring the young goalkeeper back to Wearside in the New Year.
Allardyce was not around when the 'keeper was sent out on loan and so has kept a close eye on him, and he has clearly been impressed by what he's seen as he looks to take advantage of a 10-day recall window next month.
Pickford to be assessed in New Year
Reports do not suggest that Pickford is to be called back to become Sunderland's new number one by any stretch of the imagination, but just so Allardyce can get a first hand look at the 21-year-old.
The manager will then assess the options the club have for their young prospect before the Football League loan window in February opens, with there a possibility of him been sent out on loan again.
However, it's understood that Pickford will train with the Black Cats' first team during January and also feature in the matchday squads for their games throughout the month.
Back-up 'keeper vacancy to open?
Another possibility is that Pickford could become the club's new back-up goalkeeper, with current number two Vito Mannone linked with a January move.
The Italian stopper has hardly featured for Sunderland this year, playing just one game in the cup due to Costel Pantilimon's strong performances, and so rumours have emerged linking him with a return home.
Serie A outfit Verona are believed to have enquired about the 27-year-old, according to the Sunderland Echo, and could proceed with a move for him once the transfer window officially opens next month.
Mannone has not played football in his homeland since he was a teenager, coming through Atalanta's youth ranks before a switch to Arsenal aged 17, but it seems like a switch elsewhere would be his best bet of playing regular football at the moment.