League One

Sunderland: Sky Sports man hints at possible return for Jermain Defoe

Image for Sunderland: Sky Sports man hints at possible return for Jermain Defoe

Sky Sports journalist Dharmesh Sheth has claimed that Sunderland could be a possible destination for Jermain Defoe during the January transfer window.

Lee Johnson’s men find themselves right in the thick of the race for automatic promotion as they sit in third place having dropped plenty of points in recent weeks.

They remain one point behind leaders Wycombe Wanderers and are only behind second-placed Wigan Athletic by virtue of goal difference, although the Latics do have four games in hand.

And with this being their fourth season outside of the second tier, you’d imagine they will be trying to pull out all the stops in order to seal promotion this term. One option available to them could be to bring in another forward to boost their already potent attack, which leads the league with 52 goals scored so far.

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Speaking on Wednesday’s edition of Sky Sports News’ The Transfer Show, Sheth claimed that there were a number of clubs in League One showing an interest in 39-year-old Defoe, now a free agent after leaving Rangers – and that the Black Cats were among the contenders.

He did note, however, that it might not be as straightforward as it may seem when it comes to bringing him on board.

Sheth claimed: “He said on the show last week that his phone was red-hot, it wouldn’t stop ringing – lots of interest in Jermain Defoe. We’re told today, Sunderland, Ipswich, Charlton Athletic and Oxford all interested in signing Jermain Defoe on a short-term deal that will take him until the end of the season.

“Now, he’s also got coaching offers as well, which is why he hasn’t fully made his mind up whether he’ll continue playing until the end of the season. I think that would be his preference, but if a coaching offer came along that he couldn’t refuse, it would be something that he would definitely have to think about.

“He’s previously said, though, that he wants to finish his career by playing in front of fans.”

TIF Thoughts on Dharmesh Sheth’s comments on Jermain Defoe and Sunderland…

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Of course, the former England man has already had a spell at the Stadium of Light, where he managed to bag 37 goals in 93 appearances between 2015 and 2017 – and this would appear to be a pretty solid move for Sunderland to make.

As Defoe has shown during his time at Ibrox, despite his age, he can still get you goals when you need him to. And whilst it’s unlikely that he’ll be a regular starter, if he can offer a role in rotation or off the bench, then he might still be able to make an impact when called upon.

So if Sunderland can offer him a player-coach role, similar to the one he had at Rangers, it might just be possible for Defoe to finish off his career on Wearside – and he could even go out with a bang if he can get the Black Cats out of League One in the process.

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Freelance sports journalist & broadcaster.