Allardyce and Pulis both interested in signing Jermain Defoe

Allardyce and Pulis both interested in signing Jermain Defoe

Both Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis have today expressed an interest in signing Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe.

The Sunderland striker will be available, reportedly on a free transfer, after the Black Cats were relegated from the Premier League last weekend.

Crystal Palace boss Allardyce insisted that he is not working on potential transfer targets until Crystal Palace's Premier League status is secure.

Defoe was Sunderland's key player when they impressively survived under Allardyce and the former England boss earlier this season described Defoe, alongside Nicolas Anelka, as the finest striker he has ever worked with.

Defoe’s recent return to the England squad and the 2018 World Cup also provide further incentives for the 34-year-old to continue playing regular Premier League football, and Allardyce said: "If we are safe and Jermain Defoe is available, and he wants to come to Crystal Palace, I would be interested.

"Until that time, when we are safe, I can't pursue that. When we are safe, someone else who is already safe may already have done it. Who knows?"

West Brom boss Pulis also hinted that he is interested in signing Defoe.

Pulis has gone through the majority of the season with just Hal Robson-Kanu and Salomon Rondon as available strikers with Saido Berahino barely playing, due to a two-month ban for failing an out-of-competition drugs test, before he joined Stoke in January.

"When you say he's a free agent, effectively he's a free agent, but that still brings an enormous cost to whichever club takes Jermain," said Pulis, ahead of Saturday's trip to Burnley.

"We've got our fingers in the pie on quite a few players and we'll see how we go on those players. If Jermain's one of them, we'll be pushing on that one if we can.

"When Saido left we had Robson-Kanu and Salomon, a free transfer and a player that's only spent one season in the Premier League, so we knew that was an area we had to improve.

"There was no-one there at the time that we could get in. And I don't want to waste people's money by spending a lot of money on just a back-up. We have to try and bring players in who are going to improve the first XI and keep the club improving

"That's the way I've always thought about it, that's the way I try to approach it. That will certainly be one of the areas we're trying to improve."

Bournemouth have also been linked with moves for Defoe, as well as Chelsea veteran goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

While not commenting on any transfer rumours, Howe said expects to be able to do some business.

"Previously we have shown our ambitions, where we want to go and what we want to do, which is to really try to move the club forwards every season, trying to improve," he said.

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