CHRIS COLEMAN’S hopes of keeping hold of Lewis Grabban beyond the January transfer window will rest on whether a permanent deal can be struck to keep the striker at Sunderland.

Aston Villa, Fulham and Wolves are among the clubs interested in signing him after January 1, even though he is on a season-long loan at the Stadium of Light.

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has admitted he will be having a chat with Grabban in the near future to determine what could happen in the New Year.

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The Cherries are running out of time to recoup some money for the front-man because he only has 18 months remaining on his contract at the Vitality Stadium.

Grabban’s form for struggling Sunderland, where he has scored 11 times in 17 appearances, has highlighted his scoring ability again and that has alerted the rest of the Championship. His value is unlikely to be greater between now and him becoming a free agent.

Bournemouth can recall him half way through the loan when the window opens and that is under serious consideration if they feel they can move him on quickly for a sizeable fee.

Howe said: "We will make the right decision for him and for us. I think it will be something we will sit down and talk about. We have got some excellent strikers here.

“I have got some real options in that position, especially when you consider you have got the quality of Lys Mousset who is out of the squad at the moment. That is something for a later date when we will have a chat with Grabbs."

Promotion-chasing Aston Villa are known to be the front-runners for his signature with former Black Cats boss Steve Bruce working on an offer. Financial Fair Play rules make it harder for the Villans to do a permanent deal, so they could look to do something that would turn into a full-time arrangement at a cost next summer.

Fulham, who travel to the Stadium of Light this Saturday, and Wolves, both still looking to secure promotion this season, have the finances available to be able to offer something in January, while there are also other Championship clubs known to be interested.

Coleman would like to keep Grabban for the second half of the campaign, appreciating how valuable his goals have been so far and how bad Sunderland’s lowly position could be without his return in front of goal.

But Sunderland don’t have money to throw around next month and Coleman already knows he will have to be creative if he is to do a deal. A lot could depend on whether there are any sales, with Lamine Kone and Didier Ndong two of the most saleable assets.

Either way, Coleman will still not have a lot of money to reinvest back into the Sunderland squad, which is why he has started to look at potential bargains.

Grabban has clearly enjoyed scoring goals on Wearside after being attracted to the club by Simon Grayson. However, even though he has settled into working under Coleman, there will be a temptation there to join a club hunting promotion rather than staying up this season. Sunderland are a point shy of safety and four adrift of 20th-placed Barnsley. Without Grabban’s goals, Sunderland would likely be cast well adrift at the foot of the Championship.

If he was to leave half way through his season-long loan then it would be hard for Coleman to find a replacement. In January 2016 he moved to Bournemouth from Norwich for £9m and is valued at around £5m now.

Howe said: "I am not surprised. Lewis is an outstanding player. When we signed him back when we were in the Premier League we paid a substantial fee for him.

"I have worked with him before and really enjoyed that process. The journey we went through together was incredible really. He did very well for me in both spells so I have got a lot of time for the player and the person. We will make the right decision for the next step in his career.”

With the exception of James Vaughan, Sunderland’s only other recognised strikers are the inexperienced duo of Josh Maja and Joel Asoro. Coleman is looking to strengthen in that area as soon as he can.