Sebastian Coates has admitted he would be interested in a permanent move to Sporting Lisbon.
The defender is currently on loan in Portugal from Sunderland, having left Wearside in January after falling down the pecking order.
He's made an impact with his temporary employers too, and has not dismissed the possibility of securing a summer transfer to the club having settled so well.
Coates open to move
Speaking to Record this week, Coates was hesitant about talking about a potential move when the season ends.
There is a €5 million buy-out clause in his loan contract that Sporting could activate either this summer or next, and his performances thus far mean it wouldn't be a surprise to see them do that this year.
Coates himself appears to be more than open to the deal becoming permanent too, despite saying that talk about that is "premature" when the season is still ongoing.
"I'm very happy here," the Uruguay international admitted. Having traded a relegation-threatened side for "a club that has the ambition to win the championship" and "to qualify for the Champions League," he is enjoying his time in Portugal.
When asked what he would say if he had to make the decision today about staying with Sporting or not, Coates said he would say "yes, of course," with the fact that his family have "already adapted" to the new surroundings a big factor.
"However, while we are in competition with things to decide," he continued, "I'd rather not talk about these issues."
International defender sharing experience
At Sporting, Coates is the team's most senior defender, boasting international and European experience, as well as plenty of games in the Premier League.
It is the first time he has taken up that role in his career too, having often been the learning centre-half in his previous defensive partnerships.
However, it's a role he is enjoying. "It is up to me to teach young players, help them grow," he understands, which is much "different" to when he was at Liverpool, where his "goal was to learn."
Coates is looking to give teammates his "experiences" that he has gained "on and off the pitch," and with the club having kept three clean sheets in their six Primeira Liga games since his arrival, he's certainly doing a good job. It's no wonder that he wants to stick around.