Sunderland are pushing ahead with plans to appoint Sam Allardyce as their next manager, with The Mail reporting owner Ellis Short is to hold talks with him over the weekend.
If he is appointed then Allardyce will not need to worry about winning over striker Jermain Defoe.
The former England international striker talked highly of the out of work boss last season, speaking to The Mirror about the job he had done with West Ham.
He said: "Sam is a good guy. He got a lot of stick, at one point I thought he could be in trouble but he’s a strong character, he has always been a strong character and he’s a good manager, experienced, he knows the game.
“What he’s done has been amazing. They’re a tough team, a tough team to beat, I think they’ll do well for the rest of the season.”
Defoe was speaking last December, when the Hammers were flying high in the league and dreaming of top seven or eight finish, before their form badly trailed off in the second half of the season.
The striker has never played under Allardyce, but has old pals at West Ham like Mark Noble from his youth team days, who he would have insight on his style from.
Defoe is not the typically well built, tall striker, with who Allardyce has been associated through his career, but his experience and eye for goal are attributes the potential Sunderland manager will surely be able to make good use of if he accepts the job offer.