Liverpool loanee Sebastian Coates has told IBTimes UK he would like to return to Anfield next season after helping Sunderland secure Premier League survival with an impressive defensive display in the 0-0 draw against Arsenal on Wednesday 20 May.
The 24-year-old Uruguay international moved to Liverpool from Nacional in the summer of 2011 as a prospect for the future after being named the best young player at that year's Copa America.
But after struggling to establish himself in the first team and missing much of the last campaign due to a serious knee injury, manager Brendan Rodgers sent him on loan to Sunderland in order to secure more playing time.
Coates had a difficult start to life under manager Gus Poyet at the Stadium of Light but has now become a pivotal player for Sunderland with Dick Advocaat in charge.
The Liverpool loanee has started the last five Premier League games of the campaign, leading the backline to keep clean sheets in the last three games, against Everton, Leicester City and Arsenal.
Coates expressed his delight about the point secured to avoid relegation and hopes his impressive performances help him return to Liverpool.
"I can't be happier. It's a great day. It was a very difficult game. We knew that with a point we will continue in the Premier League and that's what we did. We are thrilled," he said to IBTimes UK.
While asked for a summary of the season and what he expects for the future, Coates said: "I have one year left on my contract with Liverpool and obviously I would like to play there".
"But we have to wait. It's not just my decision. When I came to Sunderland, the target was to play more than I have done this season but sometimes these things happen in football. We'll have to wait and see whether I can go back to Liverpool or if I have to find another team.
"I arrived with an injury and the adaptation took me longer than I thought. Then there were decisions of the managers and you have to respect that. But I always say the same. The important thing is to be ready when the coach gives you a chance."
Questioned whether Liverpool have been monitoring his developments during the season, he said: "I have been in contact with Liverpool permanently. When I was injured, they called me a lot to see how the things were going and that's something I appreciate."
Meanwhile, having been named in the provisional Uruguay squad for the Copa America, he hopes to have another chance to prove his worth to Liverpool during the summer tournament.
He said: "I have a big competition because Uruguay always have had great centre-backs like [Atletico Madrid duo] Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez but I hope to be on the final list."