Question marks over Nathan Broadhead's Everton future as Sunderland remain interested in striker target

Sunderland target Nathan Broadhead didn’t feature in Everton's pre-season friendly against Arsenal last week – despite Toffees boss Frank Lampard using 22 players.

Broadhead has travelled with Everton on their pre-season tour of the USA but wasn’t even named in the matchday squad to face the Gunners at the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, despite several youngsters receiving game time.

Some Everton players did pick up injuries ahead of the match, yet Broadhead wasn't specified as one of them.

Sunderland remain interested in re-signing the forward, who scored 13 goals in 27 appearances while on loan at the Stadium of Light last season.

Nathan Broadhead playing for Sunderland.

One complication is that Broadhead only has a year left on his contract at Everton, meaning there would be little point in loaning the player out with the prospect of losing him for nothing next summer.

Everton are also short of striker options following the sale of Richarlison to Tottenham, while it was thought Lampard wanted to take a closer look at Broadhead’s level this summer.

Still, the forward’s absence against Arsenal raises further question marks about his future at Goodison Park.

The Toffees are now preparing to face MLS side Minnesota United FC on Thursday.

Sunderland will continue to monitor Broadhead’s situation, while Black Cats boss Alex Neil has said he wants to add at least two more strikers to his squad.

Speaking in the immediate aftermath of Sunderland's play-off win at Wembley, Sunderland’s Sporting Director Krijstaan Speakman confirmed the club would explore the possibility of bringing Broadhead back to the Stadium of Light.

“We will have a conversation with Everton this week, to see where they are at with it and where we are at with it, and see if that’s aligned,” Speakman said.

“We have to respect the fact that he is an Everton player.

“We have seen him as our player for the year, because we had to get the best out of him but now that the season is finished he unfortunately goes back to being an Everton player.

“It’s not always easy to turn a loan into a permanent one but if it’s right for everyone, there’s a deal to be done."