Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce had made signing another striker of paramount importance in the summer transfer window, according to the Shields Gazette.
Defoe finished the campaign with 18 goals in all competitions, 15 of which came in the Premier League. In contrast fellow strikers Fabio Borini, Steven Fletcher and Duncan Watmore only managed 12 between them across the campaign.
That makes adding another to the current playing squad of paramount importance for manager Sam Allardyce, according to the Shields Gazette.
According to their report, he is keen to sign a player who can either play alongside the veteran hit man or offer an alternative to him. Who that striker could be remains to be seen, with the Black Cats having so far been frustrated in their pursuits.
West Ham United turned down an £11 million bid for Diafra Sakho according to the Mirror, although Allardyce remains interested in bringing his former Hammers star to the Stadium of Light.