Brendan Galloway has told Everton he wants to end his loan at Sunderland and return to former club MK Dons for the rest of the season.
The 21-year-old defender has found the atmosphere at the struggling Championship club difficult and has played just four games at the Stadium of Light since arriving last summer.
Sunderland have told him he is unlikely to play during the remaining months of the season, while he is not part of Sam Allardyce’s immediate plans at Goodison Park.
If he stays on Wearside, Everton are due a £250,000 loan fee.
Galloway and his representatives want a resolution that would see the left-back return to MK Dons, where his one-time youth team coach Dan Micciche has just taken over as first-team manager.
The player is hoping Everton waive the loan fee due from Sunderland and allow him to play games and develop at Stadium MK, where he started his career.
Gallloway, who was born in Zimbabwe, has made 17 appearances for Everton since joining in 2014 but spent last season on loan at West Brom.