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Jermain Defoe, 39, wanted by Sunderland in emotional transfer return after leaving Rangers

SUNDERLAND boss Lee Johnson has revealed he is considering an ambitious move to bring Jermain Defoe back to the club.

The 39-year-old striker’s contract with Glasgow Rangers was terminated this week and the former England star is currently a free agent.

Jermain Defoe was recently released by Rangers and could come back to Sunderland
Jermain Defoe was popular at Sunderland during his recent stint at the club

Defoe, who won the Scottish Premier League last season under Steven Gerrard, had only made two top-flight appearances this term.

He had also stepped up his coaching duties, but with the arrival of Giovanni van Bronckhorst ιn the dug-out he felt it was time for a change.

Despite his age, Defoe has revealed he would like to ‘play in front of fans and be part of a successful side’ again before he retires from playing.

And League One promotion chasers Sunderland are hoping they can overcome ‘a million and one things’ and get him to return to the Stadium of Light.

Defoe was loved on Wearside after scoring 37 goals in 93 appearances during his two-and-a-half years there following his switch from Toronto in 2015.

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Now Johnson, who has forward Nathan Broadhead sidelined with a long-term hamstring injury, has admitted his interest in the ex-West Ham and Tottenham man.

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Ahead of the weekend’s trip to Accrington Stanley, he said: “We’re fully aware of Jermain’s situation, as everybody is.

“We’re fully aware of his character traits, and the professional standards he’s adhered to over the course of his career at an elite and top level.

“As in any particular transfer scenario, there’s a million and one things that would have to happen for that to be beneficial for all parties.

“That would be the key with any out-of-contract player, and in particular with Jermain.

“It’s as simple as that really. There’s not really much more detail I can go into because it’s an open-market player that would be in consideration for the pros and cons, as would any other open-market player.

“Obviously, the rapport with the area always comes into account, and that respect for an individual, not only as a great human being, but that he’s also had a great career, will also always come into it.”

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