SUNDERLAND have held talks aimed at re-signing both Jack Clarke and Nathan Broadhead following their successful loan spells at the Stadium of Light last season.

Black Cats head coach Alex Neil is hoping to seal new deals for both players as he looks to prepare his squad for a return to the Championship.

However, the duo’s respective parent clubs are both reluctant to agree to anything at this stage, preferring to wait until later in the summer to make a firm decision over their plans.

Clarke joined Sunderland on loan from Tottenham in January and made 20 appearances in all competitions in the second half of last season.

He scored in the win over Fleetwood, and played a pivotal role in the successful play-off campaign, setting up Patrick Roberts’ last-gasp goal at Hillsborough in the second leg of the semi-final and coming on as a second-half substitute for the final half-hour of the final at Wembley.

The York-born 21-year-old enjoyed his time on Wearside, and it is understood he would be interested in the possibility of returning to the North-East for another season.

However, with his current contract with Spurs due to expire next summer, the Tottenham hierarchy have some critical decisions to make over the winger, who joined in a £10m move from Leeds United in the summer of 2019.

Clarke has been unable to make much of an impression at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and with Antonio Conte already having added Ivan Perisic and Yves Bissouma to his squad this summer, and with further high-profile signings in the pipeline, he is unlikely to find his first-team chances greatly enhanced next season.

That could tempt Tottenham to cash in on him now, which would make it difficult for Sunderland to pull off a deal if Spurs were to demand the £10m they shelled out to land Clarke three years ago,

However, an alternative option would be to offer Clarke a new deal before loaning him out for another season, a scenario that would greatly increase the Black Cats’ chances of being able to re-sign him.

The situation is likely to be resolved later this summer, with Clarke set to report for the start of pre-season training with Tottenham next month before holding talks over his future.

Broadhead is in a similar position at Everton, with Frank Lampard keen to see the striker at first hand in pre-season next month before deciding whether to keep him as part of the Toffees’ first-team squad next season or loan him out again, with Sunderland certain to be one of his leading suitors in the latter scenario.

Broadhead spent the whole of last season on loan at the Stadium of Light, and while he suffered a number of injury issues over the course of the campaign, he still finished with an impressive haul of 13 goals from 27 appearances in all competitions.

He formed an effective partnership with Ross Stewart, and finished the season with a run of ten goals from his last 14 matches, a sequence that included the winner at Morecambe on the final day of the regular League One season, a victory that secured Sunderland’s place in the play-offs.

Neil is a strong admirer of the Wales Under-21 international, and would love to have him back in the fold next season.

Everton are aware of Sunderland’s ongoing interest, but are unlikely to make a final decision over Broadhead’s future until much later in the transfer window, a stance is that far from ideal from a Black Cats perspective as they attempt to put plans in place ahead of the start of the new Championship season.

Like Clarke, Broadhead is about to enter the final year of his current contract, a factor that will also come into Everton’s thinking as they assess what to do with the 24-year-old. Sunderland would be interested in either a loan deal or a permanent transfer, if the price was right.

Speaking to Everton’s website at the end of last season, Broadhead said: “(Last) season was my first playing consistently, playing in front of 30-40,000 fans every week and I enjoyed every moment of it – the promotion made it even better.

“Now, I’m just looking forward to getting back to 100 per cent fitness and having a full pre-season. We’ll see what happens next. I’ve been learning every day from experienced players, and that’s part of it. Of course, I want to be in that environment and playing senior football.”