Sunderland have contacted veteran striker Jermain Defoe about an emotional return to the Stadium of Light.
The 39-year-old departed Rangers earlier this month, after only registering two appearances this season, and it is believed the forward wants to extend his playing career by at least another six months.
It is believed he has been contacted by several Championship and League One clubs, including the Black Cats, and is seriously considering dropping into England’s third tier for a final flourish.
The Englishman had a spell in the MLS with Toronto, before playing for Sunderland between 2015-17, scoring 34 times in the Premier League in 87 appearances.
In the market for attacking options following the injury to Nathan Broadhead, manager Lee Johnson addressed the speculation which linked his side with Defoe.Embed from Getty Images
“As in any scenario there are a million and one things that would have to happen for that to be beneficial to all parties, and that would be key.
He added: “All I’d say is we’re fully aware of his situation as everybody is, we’re fully aware of his character and the professional standards he’s adhered to over the course of his career, they are elite and top level.”
Asked how it would fit with the club’s strategy of recruiting young talent, Johnson said: “I have to remove the Jermain from that question.
“Any signing has to be right for the football club, simple as that.
“You look at what they can bring on the pitch and off it, mainly on it of course.
“Every player available, it’s our responsibility to do the due diligence so we can make an informed decision.”
Victor Anichebe, who was Defoe’s teammate at Sunderland between 2016-17, tagged the England international in an Instagram story, asking him if the pair should re-join last season’s play-off semi-finalists.