Sunderland defender Greg Halford is being linked with a permanent move to Charlton Athletic after failing to impress during his brief time on Wearside.
The 23-year-old moved to the Stadium of Light in a £2.5million switch from Reading last summer, but made only nine appearances for Roy Keane's side.
He could now be allowed to join the Addicks for only £500,000 after being loaned out to the Championship side in January for the second half of the 2007-08 campaign.
Halford scored twice in 16 appearances for Alan Pardew's side.
The Chelmsford-born defender made his name at Colchester United but his career had faltered since he joined Reading 18 months ago.
Royals boss Steve Coppell allowed him to join Sunderland after giving him only two starts.