NIGEL Pearson expects to talk with Neil Danns about his Leicester City future soon – but has not ruled out sending him out on loan again to Wanderers in January.

The midfielder proved a hit at the Reebok with four goals in 12 starts but has been well out of the first-team frame for the table-topping Foxes.

He returned to train with his parent club after scoring the winner for Wanderers against Barnsley on Boxing Day but seems unlikely to usurp the likes of Matty James, Danny Drinkwater or Dean Hammond in Pearson’s plans.

Danns spent most of last season out on loan at Bristol City and Huddersfield Town and joined Wanderers back in October – featuring in just two Capital One Cup games for Leicester since August 2012.

Dougie Freedman has left the deal on the backburner for now as he looks to bolster his defensive ranks but speaking after Sunday’s game, Pearson said he has made plans to discuss the next step with the 31-year-old midfielder.

“It’s something I will discuss first with him before we talk in any kind of public sense,” he said. “I know Bolton have probably expressed a wish to either extend his loan or do something more permanent.

“The appropriate action is to speak to him first. He is a likeable guy but I don’t think it is right to be talking too publicly about the next step.

“Clearly his loan period was successful for him and for Bolton. And I will have a chat with him at some point to see where we go.”

Another loanee who would appear to be up for grabs is Kevin McNaughton, who also returned to Cardiff after Boxing Day.

With the managerial situation still up in the air in South Wales following the sacking of Malky Mackay, any deal to bring the Scot back to the Reebok is likely to take time.

But McNaughton’s absence was felt acutely in the 5-3 defeat at Leicester and with Tyrone Mears and David Wheater seemingly still well adrift of the first team picture, Freedman has made defensive cover his primary aim in the coming weeks.

“Losing Kevin (McNaughton) was a big blow and it has left us very, very short,” he said. “We only have four defenders in the building so we are very short in that area.

“Maybe that is a little clue as to what we will be doing in January.

“We have got to try and bring in a couple of defenders to make sure we are more resilient at the back. If we can get some resilience, home and away, we can score goals."