Birmingham City will need to gain promotion to the Premiership if they are to have any hope of signing Nicklas Bendtner from Arsenal on a permanent basis.
The Denmark international striker will remain at St Andrew's on loan until the end of the season but has made it clear that he wants to be playing in the top flight on a regular basis.
The 18-year-old will not be tempted to remain with Birmingham if the club fails in its objective of making a swift return to the Premiership. He would, he says, prefer to fight for a place in the Arsenal first team.
Bendtner played his part in Birmingham's 1-1 draw at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, a result that keeps Steve Bruce's team in the top three of the Coca-Cola Championship — only two points behind Cardiff City.
Birmingham are the in-form team in the Football League, despite dropping two points against Wolves, and they have a momentum that should keep them in the hunt until the transfer window opens in January.
It is likely that Bruce will sign a new striker but Bendtner (pictured) will remain an integral part of the team.
"I will be staying here at Birmingham until the end of the current season, which I am happy about," Bendtner said. "My contract at Arsenal has two more years left so I am not really thinking about staying at Birmingham after this season.
"The plan at the moment is to go back to Arsenal — and the only chance of me staying on here is if the club get promoted to the Premiership. I want to play in the Premiership because I always aim high all the time. Championship football is OK but I want more.
"Playing first-team football on a regular basis has been good for me but even before I moved to Birmingham I knew that I could play at this level. There are many good strikers at Arsenal but I am confident I can break into that team one day. I believe in myself and I’m sure if I get my chance, then I’ll take it."
David Sullivan, Birmingham's co-owner, has said he will "move heaven and earth" to keep Bendtner, Sebastian Larsson and Fabrice Muamba, all of whom are on loan from Arsenal, if Birmingham regain their place in the Premiership at the end of the season.
Larsson says that Mark Halsey, the referee, accused him of "faking an injury" after he received a blow on the head from Gary Breen during the Wolves match.
Larsson went tumbling to the ground after a clumsy challenge by Breen in the Wolves half. Halsey, however, waved play on and Wolves won a corner from which they equalised with only two minutes remaining.
Larsson was also upset Halsey did not allow him time to retreat and take up his normal position at the near post to defend the corner — the precise area from which Rohan Ricketts’ centre was flicked on by Jay Bothroyd for Jody Craddock to head home.
"I was caught with an elbow or fist on the back of my head and the referee dealt with it very poorly," Larsson said. "Firstly for a head injury, whether or not he thinks I’m faking, he should have blown the whistle.
"Then he didn’t let me get back into position for the corner because I am the front post man — the area where the flick for the goal has come from. The referee came to me and asked if I was all right and I said ‘Yes’. Then I started to run back and he waved play on while I was still at the halfway line.
"I asked him after the goal, ‘how can you do that?’. He said, ‘because you were faking an injury’. I asked him to feel the bump on my head and, in any case, if he thought I was faking an injury then I should have been booked and I wasn’t."