West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has confirmed he is keen to retain the services of on-loan Liverpool striker Andy Carroll and hopes a deal can be finalised as soon as possible.
Carroll joined the Hammers from Liverpool on a one-year loan deal last August after struggling to establish himself at Anfield following his club-record £35million switch from Newcastle in January 2011.
The 24-year-old has been hampered by injury during his time at Upton Park but, since returning to fitness, he has hit form over the last few months and was this week was recalled to the England squad for the upcoming friendlies against Republic of Ireland and Brazil.
And Allardyce has also seen enough to want Carroll back at West Ham next season, believing the powerful hitman can develop into a "very good player" at the club.
"He has shown everybody what he can do and he has massive potential to grow into a very good player if he ends up back here with us," Allardyce told reporters ahead of West Ham's final Barclays Premier League match against Reading on Sunday.
"He's so willing to learn and become better that I think we could do well for each other, but there is a way to go before that might get sorted.
"It's about negotiation and both parties have to be happy that the negotiation cannot go any farther and it's a 'yes' or 'no'. We hope it's a 'yes' and we hope it is as quickly as possible."
He added: "I think that my reflection of Andy is exactly what I said from the start - as soon as we get him match-fit, the sooner you will see the goals.
"That match-fitness never came until his run after his second injury and I'm still wondering what he might have done this year had we got him off that one minute before he did his hamstring in his first game (against Fulham)."
While Allardyce works on bringing Carroll back to east London for next season, the forward is set to make the last appearance of his current loan spell against Reading on Sunday.
A victory over their relegated opponents would ensure West Ham of a 10th-placed finish in their first season back in the top flight, something Allardyce believes is a fantastic achievement.
However, he warned supporters not to assume that a top-10 spot this campaign will automatically mean a tilt at European football next season.
Asked what comes next for his side, he said: "It's more consolidation.
"For me, in our first season, this is like finishing in the Champions League places. To finish 10th in your first year, it's like Everton getting in the Champions League. I think that's the size of it. It's not an easy task to do.
"Next year becomes difficult because the West Ham fans and everyone at the football club will expect us to get better than 10th and I am saying that's going to be a difficult challenge.
"I am saying now that 10th is the target again, before we get into a new season thinking we should be finishing closer to Europe. If we do, it depends on how big the buys are this summer.
"I think the financial restrictions and the new restrictions on the finances will make it difficult to do that, so to finish in that particular area would be fantastic for us and it brings stability to the club.
"That's what this club needs - it needs a long spell in the Premier League to bring stability and then look to go on from there in years three, four or five.
"Then we can look for cup finals and for a European place.
"As frustrated as fans might get, that's what you've got to do as a manager because it's then sustainable and sustainable success is what we're all about."
While Allardyce is hoping Carroll will be part of his future plans, he has already told another of his loan players, defender Emanuel Pogatetz, he will not be extending his stay at the club.
Austria international Pogatetz, 30, has made only a handful of appearances for the Hammers, mainly as a substitute, since joining from German side Wolfsburg during January's transfer window on a loan deal until the end of the season.
Allardyce said: "I'll sit down and decide what to do after the game on Sunday, as I will about others like Gary O'Neil and our other loan players.
"We've already said to Emanuel Pogatetz 'thanks very much'. He's been a fantastic lad and a great professional but we're not going to make it permanent for next season.
"We'll deal with the other players after Sunday and first just concentrate on sending the supporters home happy after another home performance that brings the right result."