Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill says the permanent transfer of the Leeds-born defender is on the agenda, and believes their ability to land him will be aided by the fact he wants to join the Wearsiders. The star is a definite crowd favourite.
"He's really been excellent for us and he's improving as well," O'Neill said. "There is that possibility. He wants to remain at the football club and that is encouraging and if he went back to Tottenham, particularly with Ekotto getting fit again, the chances are he wouldn't play that often, so it's certainly worth a look at anyway.
"He would love to stay here. He's got on terrifically well with everyone. The players have taken to him, everybody has taken to him. Most importantly, the crowd have taken to him and rightly so because he has been absolutely outstanding. I always felt he had that potential, but he's playing remarkably well."