Bournemouth manager discusses potential summer move for Sunderland's Jermain Defoe

Defoe is likely to attract a lot of interest this summer if Sunderland can't beat the drop
Defoe is likely to attract a lot of interest this summer if Sunderland can't beat the drop
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Eddie Howe has spoken of his admiration for Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe.

The 34-year-old made his return to international football last weekend and marked it with a goal, sparking a discussion about his World Cup prospects.

Gareth Southgate admitted that Defoe would likely need to be in the Premier League to make his squad next summer and he is expected to leave should the Black Cats be unable to beat the drop.

Bournemouth are the favourites with many bookmakers to land Defoe; the striker having made his breakthrough on loan at Dean Court early in his career.

Howe would not be drawn on a potential move but talked up the 14-goal striker.

He said: "I do not think you can ever rule out being attracted to a goal scoring striker,

"I know it sounds funny, because that is their job, but they are so difficult to find.

"It is difficult to say (how many suitors Defoe will have if he becomes available) because it is all hypothetical, but I imagine there will be a lot of people interested in him.

"He is a player we respect but he is a Sunderland player at this present moment.

"I have said many times before how good I think he is and it is great to see him back in an England shirt and scoring goals.

"Goalscorers are incredibly hard to find. We have some really good strikers here... and it is great to see Joshua King and Benik Afobe scoring goals."