Eintracht Frankfurt will hold talks with Chelsea in hope of signing starlet Lucas Piazon on a permanent deal – but anticipate the Blues will only agree to another loan.
Piazon, 20, was one of number of talents to leave Stamford Bridge during the summer transfer window and like his fellow loanee Oriol Romeu – who has joined Stuttgart - he has made a positive impact in the Bundesliga.
With opportunities in the starting XI at a premium at Stamford Bridge, Piazon has indicated he is happy to impress Jose Mourinho away from the club for the time being.
However, Frankfurt sporting director Bruno Hubner is hoping they can convince both the player - who has previously suggested he could consider a permanent move - and his parent club to discuss a longer stay in Germany.
"We will hold talks in any case," Hubner told Bild when asked whether the club can keep Piazon. "I can imagine perhaps that Chelsea loan him to us again.
"That is what we are concerned with because he has shown what he can do. I also believe the Bundesliga is the right platform for him because he can still acquire the physical nature he is missing, adding to his playing skills.
"If Lucas can learn to succeed here, then he can make the next big step."
Piazon has started in four of Frankfurt's opening seven games of the season, and came off the bench to score a sensational winner against Hamburg in September.
After joining Chelsea in 2012, the Brazilian youngster has enjoyed mixed fortunes away from the club on loan. While his first spell away with Malaga during the second half of the 2012/13 season was largely underwhelming, the attacking midfielder excelled in the Eredivisie last season with Vitesse Arnhem, scoring 11 times for the club.
Having seen the way his Chelsea teammate Thibaut Courtois benefited from a loan spell, Piazon appreciates that taking the longer route to the first team role remains his best option.
"I'm much younger and have to try to do a job," Piazon recently said. "When I can't play for Chelsea, then for another club.
"In the Netherlands [with Vitesse] we were in the title race for a long time. In Spain I had a great time, because we played in the Champions League with Malaga.
"So I can't complain, these clubs helped me a lot, and I hope, this year in Frankfurt will help me develop further."