Sunderland transfer news: Lee Johnson reveals latest on Jermain Defoe pursuit

Lee Johnson says there is still a lot that would have to happen for Jermain Defoe to make a return to Sunderland.
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Defoe confirmed on talkSPORT this morning that a move to Wearside ‘is an option’ following his departure from Rangers.

Sunderland are interested in bringing the 39-year-old back to a club where he is still revered by the supporters, but Johnson has warned that no agreement has been reached at this stage.

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Defoe is believed to have other offers and at this stage remains keen on continuing his career for at least another six months.

Sunderland are in the market for another striker while Nathan Broadhead continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

“I saw the clip of Jermain talking on talkSPORT,” Johnson said.

“Listen, we know the script with that one. He’s a good guy and the fanbase are all over it. He’s 39 and could bring us a wealth of experience.

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“As I’ve said before, a lot of things would have to happen for any potential move to have to happen, and a lot of people would have to be happy with it for whatever reason.

“At the moment, it’s not there.”

When asked directly whether he wanted to bring Defore back to the club, Johnson said that he supported it in principle but that there were a lot of elements to clarify before he could be definitive.

“It’s a difficult question because there’s so many elements that go into that,” Johnson said.

“You’ve got the football side, you’ve got the condition of the player and the gametime, everything has to be looked at in fine detail.

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“One of the biggest things is the connection between coach and player as well, and that’s really important.

“So to answer, of course in principle, it sounds like a fantastic idea.

“At the same time, there are so many intricacies that have to be right for all parties to be comfortable and happy with any particular signing.”

Johnson said he could not give an update on Manchester City winger Patrick Roberts, who is believed to have held advanced talks over a move to Wearside.

“I can’t [discuss that],” Johnson said

“He belongs to Manchester City.

“A top player and an interesting player, it’s not something we can discuss.”