Andre Villas-Boas sanctioned Rose's temporary departure in August and does not see the England under-21 international having a long-term future at White Hart Lane. Kyle Naughton has impressed at left-back in recent matches, and with Benoit Assou-Ekotto approaching full fitness following a lengthy injury lay off, Rose will be allowed to leave for good next month provided an acceptable fee can be agreed. O'Neill is hoping to push through a deal in the early weeks of the window, but the situation looks like being complicated by Redknapp's desire to reunite with the 22-year-old. The QPR boss handed Rose his first-team debut at the age of just 19 in 2009 and selected the youngster for 28 other senior outings before he was dismissed as Tottenham manager in the summer. He had earmarked Rose for a more prominent first-team role this season, and one of his final interviews as Spurs boss saw him express a hope that representing Team GB in the Olympics would help Rose develop into an established Premier League performer.
Now in charge at QPR, Redknapp has been promised funds next month in order to improve a squad that is mired in relegation trouble, and defensive reinforcements are expected to be a high priority. Redknapp has been fielding Armand Traore at left-back in recent matches, but the former Arsenal defender has struggled for form this season and there are not really any viable alternatives in the squad. As a result, Redknapp is ready to make a formal approach to Spurs chairman Daniel Levy next month in an attempt to snatch Rose from under Sunderland's noses. The terms of Rose's loan agreement include a recall clause that enables Tottenham to demand the player's return to White Hart Lane in January.
If Spurs were to trigger the clause, they would be free to sell the Doncaster-born defender to QPR as he has only played for one club so far this season and would be eligible to move elsewhere. Sunderland will be desperate to avoid such a scenario unfolding, but with additional reinforcements required elsewhere, O'Neill will be reluctant to be drawn into a protracted bidding war that could see Rose's price rise. The Black Cats will hope the youngster's time on Wearside plays into their hands, and Rose is known to have enjoyed his spell in the North-East and formed close bonds with the rest of the Sunderland squad. However, he still has a base in London and despite their perilous position in the table, QPR are expected to be offering lucrative terms in an attempt to lure players to Loftus Road next month.
Whatever happens, Rose will be available for Sunderland's trip to Southampton on Saturday, a game that could have major repercussions in terms of the league table. Win, and Sunderland are guaranteed to be four points clear of the relegation zone at Christmas. Lose, however, and the Black Cats will be in the bottom three if Wigan win at home to Arsenal.
"Although we would have loved to have got something from the game at Old Trafford [when Sunderland lost 3-1], it wasn't really seen as a six-pointer," said Seb Larsson.
"But next week will be different. The games against the teams around us are going to be the big ones now.
"We've got to remember what we did against Reading and take the positives from the second half against Manchester United on Saturday.
"If we play to some of the levels we've shown lately, we'll be all right. You just need a couple of results in these games and you fly up the table."