League One side Sunderland are determined to keep midfielder Elliot Embleton on their books this summer according to the Northern Echo, amid strong interest from Blackpool.
The 22-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan at Bloomfield Road, making 21 appearances for the Seasiders and playing a part in all three games in their play-off campaign as they won promotion to the Championship.
After playing such a big role in this promotion-winning season, Blackpool boss Neil Critchley is keen to re-sign Embleton, an approach the Black Cats are likely to reject with the two side’s valuations reported to be far apart at this stage.
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However, the recently promoted side are still preparing to launch an offer for the midfielder and make him their ninth signing of the summer, in what has been a remarkable couple of months for Critchley’s side.
Embleton returned to Wearside this summer and has been heavily involved in Lee Johnson’s pre-season training camp so far, competing alongside new signing Corey Evans as preparations ahead of the new season ramp up at the Stadium of Light.
The potential signing of another central midfielder in Ethan Galbraith is not said to have affected Johnson’s stance on the 22-year-old: he sees him as a key part of his side next season.
And the Black Cats’ manager will be hoping his experience with Blackpool last term will pay dividends during the 2021/22 campaign, as they aim to finally secure promotion at the fourth time of asking.
Embleton’s return from Blackpool will feel like a new signing for Sunderland, who have endured an extremely quiet summer so far and have only secured two senior signings thus far.
Although they need a forward to come in as a replacement for 26-goal striker Charlie Wyke, the departures of Josh Scowen, Grant Leadbitter, Max Power and George Dobson have made a central midfielder rebuild necessary at the Stadium of Light.
Embleton will bring the promotion pedigree, Evans will bring experience and Galbraith would provide youthful energy in the middle – a perfect combination and a potential recipe for promotion.
This is why they should stick with their current strategy and do everything they possibly can to retain the 22-year-old.