Sam Allardyce has insisted that Sunderland “don’t want to sell” striker Jermain Defoe, and only a big offer would take him away from the club.
Defoe arrived at the Stadium of Light from FC Toronto 12 months ago and proved he is still capable of finding the net with two clinical finishes in last weekend’s 3-1 win over relegation-rivals Aston Villa.
The 33-year-old striker has scored 10 goals for the Black Cats since his arrival in the North East, and manager Allardyce says that his top goalscorer won’t be leaving unless the owner received a bid he “can’t afford to turn down”.
Allardyce said: “We haven’t had a bid for him, for one, and I suppose if I had had a bid for him, I’d have probably turned it down – unless it was that big a bid that the owner had told me, ‘This bid is so big, Sam, that we can’t afford to turn it down’, and every club has that scenario.
“But no, we haven’t had a bid for Jermain and no, we don’t want to sell him.”
Defoe has six Premier League goals to his name this season, and Allardyce believes that his record proves he is capable of playing as a lone striker.
Allardyce said: “There’s always been a belief that maybe he can’t play up there on his own.
“He’s played up there a couple of times on his own now and I am more than willing to continue down that line.”
Allardyce’s focus in the January transfer window has been to bring in a defender and he looks to have done so with Bayern Munich’s Jan Kirchhoff on Wearside ahead of a potential £750,000 move.
Speaking about the proposed transfer, the Sunderland boss said: “Jan’s in the building. We are trying to complete a deal right now, so hopefully by the end of today, it will be completed.
“But it isn’t [yet]. All the paperwork and some negotiation is just to be finally completed, and I hope that’s going to be a new signing for us by the end of today.”
Meanwhile, Allardyce confirmed his pursuit of Lorient defender Lamine Kone, but with Kirchhoff’s imminent arrival interest in QPR’s Steven Caulker has come to an end.