Borussia Monchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl is hoping to keep Chelsea's Andreas Christensen at the club beyond the expiration of his loan deal.
Christensen has made a big impact in the Bundesliga, emerging as one of Gladbach's key players in their fourth-placed finish last season.
The 20-year-old will have been on loan at Borussia-Park for two seasons come June 2017 and, although he concedes it will not be easy, Eberl is optimistic he can keep the Denmark centre-half at the club.
He told Sky Deutschland: "It will be a hard task but I am hopeful that we can do it.
"We probably won't buy him but maybe there's another way. And even if he has only been with us for two years, that would be a great story.
"He's a top player. Chelsea are taking care of those players they've loaned out very well."
Christensen has told Eberl he will return to Stamford Bridge if he is guaranteed a first-team place but, if not, Gladbach believe they are the sort of club Chelsea could look to sell to.
Eberl added: "Andreas has said 'if I can start matches for Chelsea, I will go back'.
"He'll be a world-class player. Chelsea are not going to sell such a player to Barcelona or Bayern. So, another way is still possible."