Bournemouth boss reacts to Sunderland owner Stewart Donald's 'cheeky' attempt to sign Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe in action for Sunderland two years ago.
Jermain Defoe in action for Sunderland two years ago.
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Eddie Howe says Jermain Defoe still has a 'big future' at AFC Bournemouth.

Defoe joined the Cherries on a free transfer from Sunderland in the summer of 2017 following relegation to the Championship.

Read more: Sunderland owner on Jermain Defoe
But his playing time has been restricted this season, he has played just 14 minutes of Premier League football.

Previously linked with a summer move to Scottish giants Rangers, earlier this week Sunderland owner Stewart Donald also revealed he had made a 'cheeky' attempt in the summer to bring Defoe back to the Stadium of Light.

Donald told BBC Radio Newcastle: "I asked in the summer if we could and the answer came we couldn’t.

"We might ask again but it was a pretty strong no. It was a cheeky request though!

"I was wondering if they might contribute to his wages."

The 36-year-old scored 34 goals in 87 league appearances for Sunderland before joining AFC Bournemouth.

Defoe's manager at Bournemouth was asked about the striker's future at his pre-match press conference - and Howe insists Defoe remains an important player for the south coast side.

Read more: Sunderland owner on Jermain Defoe
How told the Daily Echo: "Jermain has got a big future here.

"He’s a very important player for a host of different reasons.

"His experience and wisdom he passes on to the players – he has always got a really good, useful thing to say in any situation.

"On the training ground he is really beneficial for everybody - for me and for the young strikers we have in imparting his knowledge on the pitch.

"We have seen recently in training he has looked really sharp and I have been really pleased with his general performances in training. He is a huge part of what we do."