Defoe has been linked with leaving Sunderland this summer, but he has told the Daily Mail that he has never asked to leave the club, and that he wants to score 20 goals for the Black Cats this season.
Defoe said: “I have never asked to leave this football club. But it is agents and the clubs who deal with stuff like that, a lot of the time it’s out of our hands. I just want to be happy – and that means being in the team and scoring goals. One fan messaged me on Instagram and it was quite long about players not being committed. I messaged back and he couldn’t believe it. I told him – nothing has changed, I want to score 20 goals for Sunderland this season.”
Whilst admitting that a move is still possible if the clubs agree to one, Defoe certainly does not sound as if he wants to leave the Stadium of Light before the close of the transfer window.
The forward, 32, was linked with moving to Bournemouth in the coming days, with the Guardian claiming that Eddie Howe wanted to swoop for the striker amid reports that he had failed to settle on Wearside.
Defoe only moved to Sunderland in January, and he signed a big-money contract until 2018. He has done little to impress so far, but considering the lack of striking options on the Black Cats books, loosing him would put a nail in the coffin of a likely Sunderland relegation.
However, he has claimed that he wants to remain with Sunderland, and score 20 goals for them this campaign.
That is a bold ambition, and one that could be hard to achieve with the current state of the Black Cats squad, but if Defoe manages to net 20 times, the Wearside club will surely be well on their way to securing Premier League safety.