sunderland, Sunderland continue talks with 22-year-old after offer rejection

Sunderland continue talks with 22-year-old after offer rejection

Sunderland remain in talks over a new deal for Dan Neil after he reportedly turned down an offer from the club, Kristjaan Speakman has says.

Sunderland have seen midfielder Neil become one of their most important players since he broke through from the academy and into the first-team on Wearside.

The 22-year-old is among the Championship’s top talents and he looks destined to test himself at a higher level in the years to come. For now though, the Black Cats are determined to keep him onboard.

sunderland, Sunderland continue talks with 22-year-old after offer rejection
Image courtesy of: ANDREW COULDRIDGE/REUTERS.

As such, a new deal was offered to Neil, though reports stated he had turned the contract down.

Now though, a fresh update on talks has emerged from sporting director Kristjaan Speakman.

As quoted by The Northern Echo, the key Sunderland figure stated that talks about retaining top talents are ongoing with a number of players when asked specifically about Neil. He said:

“We’ve always tried to retain the top talent. Those conversations are ongoing for numbers of players.

“I think we try to keep a really, really close contact with the agents of all the players to know how they’re feeling, where they feel they are at the minute, what they think is the next step for them, how comfortable are they with the environment, what can we do to chop and change things here to make sure they’re really, really comfortable.

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“And naturally, if anyone’s got a contract they’re starting to get towards the conclusion of, then we’re always really active on that front.”

Neil is under contract until 2026, but the Black Cats want him tied down to a longer deal.

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sunderland, Sunderland continue talks with 22-year-old after offer rejection

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Progress to make

Now that Sunderland finally have a new boss in place, the club can start to make meaningful strides forward with their plans for the summer. That looks set to include trying to tie key players like Neil down to new deals.

The uncertainty over the managerial position had players sceptical about committing to the club but with Regis Le Bris in place, perhaps real strides forward can be made.

sunderland, Sunderland continue talks with 22-year-old after offer rejection
Image courtesy of: STEPHANE MAHE/REUTERS.

Having turned down a deal, Neil seems to have been one player who was keen to see the direction the club was heading in as they pursued a new manager. That is now clearer with Le Bris in place, so it will be hoped he can be tied down to a new contract.

It seems contact has remained ongoing, so one many not be too far away after matters stalled somewhat.

A key man to retain

Neil has become a key influence at the Stadium of Light since his breakthrough so it would be a highly popular move to further secure his future with two years already on his current deal.

It would be massively deserved too, likely handing the midfielder a good pay hike after the strides forward he has made over the years.

Across all competitions, Neil has chipped in with 10 goals and 17 assists in 149 games for Sunderland. The Black Cats will be hoping the academy graduate can continue to add to that tally for some time yet as they embark on a journey back up the leagues.

It is hoped that brighter days lay ahead of the Wearsiders, and Neil can be a big part of bringing Premier League football back to the Stadium of Light.

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