It’s a conundrum that might be best suited to a Christmas board game, but the answer could be Rotherham’s best chance of keeping their star striker for the majority of the season.
How can Kieffer Moore get recalled by Ipswich, play for the Championship side in January, not get bought in the transfer window and still end up back at Rotherham?
It is a set of circumstances that Millers boss Paul Warne is pinning his hopes on as he battles to keep his loan star.
Town boss Mick McCarthy has already said that Moore will be going back to the Championship club in the first week of 2018.
Although bids are expected for the 25-year-old, including one from the Millers, the suggestions are that McCarthy will give the striker the chance to impress in the Ipswich side – a reward for the brilliant goalscoring form he has shown at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
And that means, even if he only appears for one minute as a substitute, he would be ineligible to play for another club other Ipswich or Rotherham this season.
— Ipswich Town FC (@Official_ITFC) November 16, 2017
If Moore does not cut the mustard at Portman Road then a loan return to South Yorkshire will be his only chance of playing for the rest of the campaign.
And that is what Warne could be banking on.
“I think Mick has obviously said he is going to take him back in January and I don’t think there is anything more certain than that,” Warne said.
“It is written in cement, it is like one of the commandments if Mick McCarthy says that. There is no way on this earth he will change his mind.
“He will go back, hopefully plays for Ipswich, they don’t see what we see so he can only play for us again.
It's not a proper Saturday until Kieffer Moore scores.
— bet365 (@bet365) November 11, 2017
“But they might sell him before he even kicks a ball but I have been led to believe he will go back and play.
“I hope it goes brilliantly for him and he plays in the Championship for the rest of his life, I will be over the moon for him.
“He’s a great kid, he deserves to play at the highest level, but from a selfish point of view I hope he comes back and plays for me.”
The future of Moore could already be wrapped up had the Millers been successful with a bid they made in August.
They lodged an offer with Ipswich before he scored a hat-trick against Southend, but it was rejected.
Moore then went on a sparkling run of form, which has led to McCarthy saying he would recall him in January.
Warne said: “We put a bid in the week of him scoring a hat-trick. It was after the Fleetwood game, the chairman agreed we could put an offer in.
“But it was rejected and they let us know he wasn’t really for sale and they wanted him out on loan and see where it took him.”