David Moyes, Jermain Defoe & Jordan Pickford: What we learned about their Sunderland future today

Jermain Defoe is almost certain to leave the club this summer
Jermain Defoe is almost certain to leave the club this summer
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Sunderland travel to Hull City tomorrow but with relegation already confirmed last weekend, the pre-match build-up has been dominated by talk of summer change.

The future of a number of key players at the club has been the subject of fierce debate and speculation, so what did we learn today?

Here's what you need to know.

The manager

David Moyes said he would be here next season, again referring to the four year contract signed last summer.

He confirmed that Ellis Short and Martin Bain have both told him they want him to stay at Sunderland and lead them into the Championship, while Moyes himself presented a rough plan as to how the Black Cats can get back up.

Short will now go away to consider those proposals, before green lighting a budget and potential targets.

Interestingly, Moyes said that he also presented a number of case studies relating to teams who managed to bounce back. The talk was positive and all the indications are that Moyes will stay, already discussing plans for those players out of contract in the summer.

Of course, the one major caveat is that he is still waiting to discover exactly what funds and options he will be presented with by the owner. There are also four games before the end of the season where fans may yet look to turn up the heat.

It remains not entirely clear cut, but much of the doubt from before and after Bournemouth game was addressed at least in part.

Queue for Defoe even bigger than anticipated

Both Eddie Howe and Slaven Bilic were coy in their press conferences yesterday, reluctant to discuss planned moves for Jermain Defoe.

Of course, both have been full of praise for the 34-year-old in the past and are almost certain to be part of the discussions this summer. Today David Moyes confirmed what has been widely known for a number of months; that Jermain Defoe has a clause in his contract that makes his departure inevitable this summer. Sunderland will not receive a fee.

Elsewhere both Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce confirmed their interest, the former a surprise as West Brom were not a club linked with the 34-year-old before.

Pulis said: "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.

"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 [Hal] Robson-Kanu and Salomon [Rondon], 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."

Allardyce, meanwhile, 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?

"I’m not interested in who will come and go.

“When we’re secure and safe in the Premier League as hopefully we are, we can talk about all the agents ringing in with their players… and I’ll tell you if the agent is telling the truth or not."

What next for Pickford?

Sunderland will need to plug the close to £50 million drop in revenue somehow and it is highly likely that the sale of Pickford will be key to that.

Everton have been heavily linked with a swoop, as well as a host of top six clubs who will be searching for a new goalkeeper this summer.

The Blues may hold the advantage in offering Pickford greater assurances of first team football, while the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal may wait and see how he develops in the coming years.

Moyes was keen to stress that under contract until 2020, he will not be sold for anything less than maximum price. What that is isn't yet clear, but anything less than £20 million will be met with derision by Sunderland fans.

Moyes said: "He’s got a contract until 2020, so it would have to be our choice to sell, not Jordan’s or anybody else. We’ve not had any clubs contact at the moment, there’s a lot of speculation but we’ve not had any contact.

"I think if that’s the case [clubs circling] then we’ll have to be expensive sellers. I don’t think it has happened very often here at Sunderland, very few have been sold for a profit, I can think of people like Jordan Henderson off the top of my head. If people come for our players they’ll have to pay the top price."

Steven Pienaar

In an interview with Sky Sports, Pienaar has all but admitted that his Sunderland career will end when his contract expires next month.

The South African, who has made 17 appearances this season, said that injuries have taken their toll and has an eye on a return home. Pienaar started his career with Ajax Cape Town before making the switch to the Netherlands.

He said: "I think I’ve still a got year in me but all of the injuries that I’ve had over the last two years, I don’t think my body can take much more. If it is up to me then you want to finish your career where it all started, which is back home, If I do get the opportunity then I’ll take it with open arms."


There has understandably been little talk of the Hull game, but Moyes also issued an injury update:

Darron Gibson and Lee Cattermole are both missing through injury.

Steven Pienaar is a doubt after going over his ankle during training on Thursday.

Billy Jones, Jack Rodwell and Jason Denayer should be back in the squad.