The 22-year-old is currently on a season-long loan at Sunderland from Anfield, and has proved to be a fan favourite.

Borini, midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng and left-back Marco Alonso are all due to return to their parent clubs at the end of the season.

Poyet has already admitted he wants to sign Ki on a permanent basis from Swansea and is also keen to extend the others’ stay at the Stadium of Light.

And the former Brighton boss has revealed he's keen to keep hold of Borini as well, but knows the Black Cats need to avoid relegation to make it possible.

"Borini is an important player, and he will be important to us if we stay in the Premier League, and are able to keep him," Poyet told The Shields Gazette.

"He's the perfect character to have in a group of players these days - he's the perfect professional, always positive."