Stoke boss Mark Hughes believes Lee Cattermole is 'highly unlikely' to leave Sunderland this month following the club's progression into the League Cup final.
Cattermole had been linked with a move to the Potters, with Sunderland clearly lining up Brighton's Liam Bridcutt to replace him. But Hughes told The Stoke Sentinel:
Given the fact that Sunderland had a fantastic result the other night, and the player you mention played really well on the night, I think it's highly unlikely it will happen.
I'm not sure if it means that Sunderland are no longer receptive to a deal or that the player himself won't relinquish a chance to be part of a major Wembley final, but either way I'd be quite happy if he did stay.
You could probably get better value for his wage, which is widely believed to be quite hefty, but he is still a very good player to have around. He is a tenacious presser for a start, which is something the Sunderland midfield are light on, and one of the few natural leaders in the group.
If he does stick around for now - and I'm still not entirely ruling a January exit out - you'd certainly expect some summer interest in signing Cattermole. It will be interesting to see how it pans out.