BLACKPOOL are ready to test Sunderland’s resolve to hold on to Elliot Embleton by tabling a formal offer for the promotion-winning midfielder.

Embleton was a member of the Blackpool side that won promotion to the Championship via the League One play-off final on Sunday, having moved to Bloomfield Road on loan in January.

The 22-year-old played a key role in the Seasiders’ success in the second half of the season, making 21 appearances in all competitions and scoring two goals.

His loan spell expired when the final whistle blew at Wembley, and both Sunderland sporting director Kristjaan Speakman and head coach Lee Johnson have publicly insisted that the Durham-born midfielder will be returning to the Academy of Light for pre-season training and playing a central role in the Black Cats’ first-team squad next season.

However, with promotion to the Championship providing Blackpool with an immediate financial boost of around £6m, Seasiders boss Neil Critchley has instructed his club’s board to do all they can to secure Embleton’s services on a permanent basis this summer.

Blackpool are preparing what is being described as a ‘significant’ offer for the midfielder, and are clearly hoping Sunderland’s failure to get out of League One will tempt them to cash in on their brightest young talent.

Under the previous regime, led by Stewart Donald, the Black Cats sold off a succession of talented youngsters, often before they had even come close to realising their full potential on Wearside. The decision to offload Josh Maja to Bordeaux arguably cost Sunderland promotion under Jack Ross, while Bali Mumba left to join Norwich City without ever really getting a chance to prove himself in red-and-white.

Kyril Louis-Dreyfus is adamant things have changed following his replacement of Donald, and Speakman has also spoken effusively about the need to build a strong academy and nurture emerging talent.

Rebuffing a seven-figure offer from Blackpool would be a powerful statement of intent, and Johnson clearly intends to make Embleton, who can play in a wide attacking-midfield position or as a number ten, an integral part of next season's squad.