Jermaine Defoe is a man in demand. Sunderland, relegated from the Premier League after a woeful 2016/17 campaign, are resigned to losing their 34-year-old striker who single-handedly tried to score the goals need to keep them up.
After a long and varied career, Defoe is set on one last hurrah in English football’s top flight, according to the Birmingham Mail. Earlier this summer, it seemed inevitable that the former West Ham and Spurs striker would sign for Bournemouth.
Doubts crept in with suggestions that personal terms are not yet agreed and that opened the door for West Bromwich Albion to charge through. The Baggies made no secret of Tony Pulis’ admiration for the striker and a move to the West Midlands has not yet been ruled out.
It’s by no means certain that Albion can match his demands. The national media claims Defoe, who can sign on a free transfer, wants an £8m signing-on fee, along with £80,000 per week over a three-year deal. That would make him top earner at both clubs.
A recent convert to the vegan lifestyle, Defoe believes he can keep producing the goods through to his 37th birthday and beyond. It’s a leap of faith on the part of either club’s manager.
While the England international defied the odds on Wearside, there’s a big question mark over whether he can continue to do so. And a total deal worth a deal which would reap Defoe around £20m is not insignificant for either club. Can he convince either board it is worth the risk?