Sunderland reluctant to sell eight-goal veteran striker in January but he could be available on a free transfer in the summer

Jermain Defoe will not leave Sunderland in the January transfer window but could on a free transfer in the summer, according to The Sun.

When Defoe left Tottenham to join Toronto FC in 2014, there were suggestions that he could be entering the swansong of his career – they could not have been wider of the mark.

Defoe’s return to the Premier League in Sunderland colours has been an astounding piece of business from the Black Cats. The 34-year-old found the back of the net on 15 occasions in the league last campaign, playing a key role in his side’s survival in the division. He has started this season in similar form, bagging eight goals in his opening 14 games. It comes as no surprise that Sunderland’s Premier League counterparts have been showing interest in him.

The Sun report that both West Ham and Crystal Palace are interested in signing the veteran striker ahead of the upcoming transfer window. Sunderland, however, have no intentions to sell, as they look to maintain their Premier League status.

The tabloid does report, however, that Defoe could be allowed to leave the club on a free transfer in the summer. As per The Sun, there is a clause in Defoe’s Sunderland contract that he will be allowed to move to another side for free if David Moyes’ side are relegated from the Premier League.

With Sunderland in 18th place, two points from safety, there is every possibility that may happen.

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