Sunderland youngster Brandon Taylor has been offered a new contract on Wearside but there are Premier League clubs fluttering their eyelashes in his direction, according to The Chronicle.
If the Black Cats’ strength was in their defence since the turn of the year, with the likes of Alim Ozturk and Tom Flanagan stepping up to provide the platform for a promotion push, it’s fair to say things have changed for the worst of late.
Ozturk and Flanagan will leave the Stadium of Light on free transfers, while Bailey Wright and Joel Lynch have gone too.
With that in mind, the last thing Sunderland needed was to learn that Taylor could also be heading out of the back door too.
The Gateshead-born 21-year-old did not make a single League One appearance in 2019/20 but Phil Parkinson appeared to have big plans for him going forward.
“I thought he was excellent tonight,” Parkinson told the Northern Echo after Taylor made his debut in an FA Cup defeat to Gillingham.
“That was a tough game, a completely different game to what he’s played in the U23s, with the ball flying in the box and coming forward quickly. I thought that he showed good calmness and did really well.”
Given the choice, Parkinson would love to push Taylor up the pecking order this summer.
But with his contract expiring today, there remains a very real possibility that a north east native will never make a league appearance in the red and white stripes.
The Chronicle claims that Taylor’s excellent reading of the game and combative style has caught the eye of top-flight clubs, with Everton, Leicester City, Southampton and Bournemouth all linked via TEAMtalk and 90Min.
But if it’s first team football Taylor wants, and let’s be honest he probably needs it at the age of 21, he should stay put for another 12 months.