A SUNDERLAND return for Amad Diallo looks increasingly unlikely, with Manchester United favouring a Premier League loan for the youngster if he doesn't play his way into Erik ten Hag's plans for next season.

The chances of Amad returning to Sunderland next season were always slim, as Tony Mowbray admitted on a number of occasions.

Despite the fact the young forward loved his time on Wearside and flourished under Mowbray, United are understandably keen for him to continue his progression at a higher level having dazzled in the Championship.

Amad's immediate priority is trying to impress ten Hag during pre-season, with the 20-year-old expected to be part of the squad that heads to the United States for a series of friendlies next month.

But if the Dutchman decides Diallo is not quite ready to be part of the first team fold at Old Trafford, United will favour a top flight loan move.

Everton, West Ham and Burnley are all monitoring Amad's situation, while there is also plenty of interest from Europe, with Feyenoord one of the clubs keen.

Ten Hag was delighted with the way Amad's spell with Sunderland played out.

Back in January, he said: "He's made really good progress there so I’m happy with that. When we decide for him to come back, he has to be a player who can compete for the starting line-up or come on for a lot of games and make an impact."


Meanwhile, Sunderland's Championship rivals Ipswich Town are keen on Everton striker Ellis Simms.

Simms impressed in the first half of the Championship season with Sunderland and the Tractor Boys have identified the frontman as a target as they prepare for their first season back in the second tier.

Reports claim Ipswich are favouring a permanent move and have made a £3.5m bid for the 22-year-old.

Everton's stance on Simms is not yet clear, but with the striker entering the final 12 months of his current contract, the Toffees could choose to cash in if he's not part of Sean Dyche's plans.

Simms was recalled from Sunderland by Dyche at the start of the January transfer window and made 11 Premier League appearances in the second half of the season, scoring his only goal in the crucial 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Sunderland are close to signing Benfica B's Luis Semedo but want to sign another frontman this summer to ensure they avoid a repeat of last season, when they had to play the second half of the campaign without a recognised striker.

Mowbray would be keen to get Simms back at the Stadium of Light but Sunderland are likely to prefer another loan and wouldn't get engaged in a bidding war for the striker.