David Moyes has confirmed Jermain Defoe has a clause in his contract which could see him leave Sunderland this summer.
Striker Defoe, 34, who has blasted 14 goals for the relegated Wearsiders’ this season, is contracted to the club until June 2019.
However, Moyes confirmed at his news conference to day that the England man has a relegation clause in his deal.
“Jermain Defoe has a clause in his contract so it’s possible [that he will leave in the summer]. Keeper Jordan Pickford is under contract,” said Moyes.
There will be no shortage of takers with Bournemouth, West Ham and now West Brom interested in the forward.
West Brom boss Tony Pulis hinted he is interested in signing Defoe on a free transfer.
Pulis has gone through the majority of the season with just Hal Robson-Kanu and Salomon Rondon as available strikers with Saido Berahino barely playing, due to a two-month ban for failing an out-of-competition drugs test, before he joined Stoke in January.
Defoe has scored 14 of Sunderland’s 26 goals in the Premier League this season.
“When you say he’s a free agent, effectively he’s a free agent, but that still brings an enormous cost to whichever club takes Jermain,” said Pulis, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Burnley.
“We’ve got our fingers in the pie on quite a few players and we’ll see how we go on those players. If Jermain’s one of them, we’ll be pushing on that one if we can.
“When Saido left we had Robson-Kanu and Salomon, a free transfer and a player that’s only spent one season in the Premier League, so we knew that was an area we had to improve.
“There was no-one there at the time that we could get in. And I don’t want to waste people’s money by spending a lot of money on just a back-up. We have to try and bring players in who are going to improve the first XI and keep the club improving that way.
“That’s the way I’ve always thought about it, that’s the way I try to approach it. That will certainly be one of the areas we’re trying to improve.”