Rotherham United have not given up hope of a 2014 return to the New York Stadium for former loan star Nouha Dicko, who has returned to Wigan.
Dicko scored six goals in five appearances for the Millers, before being recalled to his parent club last month.
Millers manager Steve Evans revealed the youngster was in tears when he received the news - and hopes his side will be in pole position should Dicko be allowed to go out on loan again.
“You can never say never about getting him back,” Evans said.
“We will follow it closely in 2014. If he was go on loan again, I know what his club of choice would be. Wigan have had a couple of injuries and are fully entitled to call him back.
“Of course we’ll miss Nouha; he’s a top player and a top-class person as well.
“Our chairman and his vice-chairman are fully aware of the situation and that we will always have interest in someone like him.
“I would love to work with him again.”
The Millers, who faced Coventry on New Year’s Day, signed off 2013 on a disappointing note, losing 2-0 at Port Vale after having Claude Davis sent off.
Evans and his side can reflect on a positive year on the whole, however.
A run of good form saw them gain automatic promotion from League Two at the back end of last term, and their start to life in League One has been nothing short of remarkable.
The Vale defeat ended a run of eight league games without defeat, and they remain firmly in the league’s promotion picture.
They have enjoyed wins over local rivals Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and Bradford City (twice), as well as beating title contenders Brentford at Griffin Park.
With fellow loan striker Haris Vuckic’s loan spell from Newcastle due to expire today, Evans may have to use the January transfer window to bolster his attacking firepower ahead of United’s next game, against Crewe at the New York Stadium on January 11.