Sunderland: Jermain Defoe set for sensational return to English football

Jermain Defoe Sunderland
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jermain Defoe is reportedly negotiating a return to Sunderland on a six-month contract, though other League One clubs, such as Charlton Athletic and Oxford United are also actively monitoring the 39-year-old's situation.

Defoe, who is now a free agent following the mutual termination of his Rangers contract at the start of January, isn't tied to Monday's 11pm transfer deadline, however, meaning any club can still secure his signature at a later date.

Sunderland seem to be in pole position to land Defoe back in the northeast, but the club is also focussing on hiring a new manager after sacking Lee Johnson following the team's 6-0 hammering at the hands of Bolton on Saturday.

While in charge, Johnson reportedly had reservations with signing Defoe, with concerns over the former England international's fitness and role in the squad stalling a potential deal. However, Johnson's dismissal could clear the way for Defoe's sensational Sunderland return. 

During two-and-a-half-seasons at Sunderland between 2015 and 2017, Defoe scored 37 goals in 93 appearances in all competitions. While at the club, Defoe won the Sunderland Supporters' Player of the year and Sunderland Player of the Year, both in 2015-16. 

Following the Black Cats' relegation from the Premier League in 2017, Defoe then headed to Bournemouth on a free transfer. He followed up a largely unsuccessful stint at the south-coast club by joining Steven Gerrard's Rangers, winning the Scottish Premiership last season. 

The striker was named as part of a four-man caretaker team responsible for leading the club when Gerrard left in November 2021, but the arrival of Giovanni van Bronckhorst signalled the end of his spell at Ibrox.

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.