Alex Neil explains what happened with Nathan Broadhead, Sunderland, Wigan Athletic and Everton in transfer verdict

Sunderland were close to finalising a permanent move for Nathan Broadhead before the striker opted for a loan move to Wigan Athletic, Alex Neil has confirmed.

The Black Cats had been keen to bring the Everton striker back after his hugely successful loan last season, in which he scored 13 goals from 27 appearances despite two serious hamstring injuries.

Sunderland had been in negotiations with Everton for much of the summer as the 24-year-old entered the final year of his contract at Goodison Park.

It's believed that Broadhead believes his chances of regular first-team football are better at Wigan Athletic, which is particularly key with the World Cup nearing.

Nathan Broadhead celebrates one of his many crucial goals for Sunderland last season

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Broadhead's superb Sunderland form saw him called into the last Wales squad, but the injury which had affected him at the end of the campaign prevented him playing.

Neil confirmed the news had come as a setback for Sunderland, but said the club would quickly move on in the market and thanked the 24-year-old for his role in the club's promotion last season.

"First of all, Nathan when he was here did remarkably well for us," Neil said.

"So we're really grateful for his time here and what he did.

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"Equally, there's been a lot of talk about us and Nathan over the summer. Our preference would have been to sign Nathan on a permanent deal, because we want to sign young players who've got their best years ahead of them.

"He's obviously gone to Wigan and good luck to him.

"There were a lot of discussions taking place and to be fair, we weren't far away from an agreement. Then obviously Saturday happened, we got two goals from one striker, one from another, and that can sometimes change people's views on things.

"As I said earlier in this press conference, and this is just speaking broadly and not about any one single player, we need players who will come here and back themselves to contribute to what we're doing. That takes a certain type of mentality to do that at this club because of the pressure and scrutiny that comes with it."

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Neil says everyone at the club is aware of the need to further strengthen in the final third before the window shuts at the end of this month.

"You probably wouldn't believe how many times this kind of thing happens, to be honest," he said.

"In football, nothing is done until it's done. And even then, it might well get undone.

"It is what it is, we crack on and we go and try and get the next one.

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"We need more cover.

"If you look at last season, the burden on Ross was too great when Broady was injured. At this level, you can't afford to have just one player for that position."

Asked earlier for a general transfer update, Neil said: "Nothing significant.

"You could make as many signings as you'd like, but I'm not sure they'd be of the quality you'd want.

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"I think that's where the difficulty starts. There are so many players available, but we need a specific type. Someone who wants to play here, who have the mentality to deal with the scrutiny here, and equally they need certain qualities to be effective for us.

"Those players are hard to find."