Like most people, I have no idea what Jermain Defoe’s contract says about his right to leave Sunderland in the event of this or that bid being made.
Like most people, I know that Slaven Bilic rates him as highly as we do and knows his movement and his goals make him an unusually gifted striker. And our old pal Big Sam would apparently love to get him down to the backwaters of south London.
And like all Sunderland supporters, I believe that if Defoe shows the slightest hint of being tempted to join either club, or anyone else, Ellis Short should throw whatever it takes – money, the freedom of Sunderland if he has the ear of someone at the council, even David Moyes’s famed £30,000 watch – to keep him.
The man is priceless. Or so it seems. But if you go to sites like this one, you find some woodentop has worked out his value at just £5.53m.
The reality is light years away from that figure. Forget the fact that Defoe is 34; he is still banging in goals, looks as fit as players 10 years younger and shows no sign of flagging.
This is how the Premier League table of top scorers looks:
1: Diego Costa (Chelsea) 14
2: Zlatan Ibrahimovich (Man U) 13
3: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) 12
Then come three strikers on 11 and, as we all know, Defoe is one of them, with Sergio Aguero (Man City) and Romelu Lukaku (Everton). In other words, ahead of Harry Kane, Eden Hazard, Deli Alli, Sadio Mane et al.
Try buying any of those in the transfer window.
There is not a whisper of justification for suggesting that a man who does it every other game for a struggling side that gives him scant service is worth less than those playing for the elite.
Let’s make it theoretical and say that if Defoe were for sale, the conversation should start at seven or eight times higher than the ludicrous price quoted in that transfer rumour site mentioned earlier. With a proved goalscorer in part-exchange.
Subject to what that pesky contract says, my guess would be that Big Sam, Slaven and any other predators would take a demand for £40m plus player(s) as an invitation to take a running jump.
“It’s nice to be wanted,” said our Jermain when asked about the interest from elsewhere. Let him remain our Jermain.