Sunderland reveal issues they faced in getting Jermain Defoe

Sunderland sporting director Lee Congerton is delighted to have seen the club battle through 'red tape' to land ex-Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe.

Lee Congerton has told Sunderland’s official website of his delight at completing a ‘difficult’ deal for Jermain Defoe.

The Black Cats have brought the England international back to the Premier League following a short stint with MLS side Toronto FC.

A proven marksman had attracted plenty of interest – with the Daily Mail reporting on Hull City’s desire to enter the transfer chase – but Sunderland got their man on a three-and-a-half year contract.

Jozy Altidore has moved in the opposite direction as part of the deal, with the USA international struggling to prove his worth.

Sporting director Congerton believes the final deal made sense for all concerned and is pleased to have seen Sunderland’s efforts during a protracted chase rewarded.

He told the club’s official website: “We are obviously delighted because Jermain is a proven Premier League player with great experience, having played at the highest level and for the national team.

“He has been in the MLS and he had many admirers in the Barclays Premier League and abroad, so we are delighted that he has committed to come to Sunderland.”

He added: “Jozy has come here and it hasn’t worked out for him – it was all about the swap and it was dependent on him going in the opposite direction.

“It’s been complex because the ownership is different in the MLS and it’s more difficult because there is a lot of legal red tape to get through, but Jozy has gone in the opposite direction and that has allowed us to bring Jermain to Sunderland.”

Defoe made his Sunderland bow on Saturday against former employers Tottenham Hotspur.

His debut ended in defeat, with Spurs running out 2-1 winners at White Hart Lane.

He is, however, still adjusting to new surroundings and will be expected to deliver a steady stream of goals over the second-half of the season.

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