Jermain Defoe: Transfer speculation is unsettling and distracting

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe
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Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe admits the transfer window was a ‘distraction’ after he was linked with a move to Bournemouth.

The window closed on Tuesday with Sunderland having signed eight new players.

Defoe was regularly linked with a move away from the Stadium of Light, but the only striker Sunderland parted company with was Connor Wickham, sold to Crystal Palace for £9million.

Now Defoe is hoping to kick on after his good start to the season, having admitted the transfer speculation is ‘unsettling’ and ‘horrible’.

“I think, obviously, its a distraction for the players being linked with other clubs,” said Defoe.

“It’s normal, when you’re playing for a club and there’s talk about you going elsewhere, and bids are coming in. It’s unsettling. It’s normal, and you’ve seen that throughout the window.

“For managers it must be a nightmare. You can imagine as a manger it must be horrible, not knowing if your players are going to stay or go.

“But now that the window’s shut everyone can just relax and get on with their jobs.”

Defoe’s job is primarily scoring goals, and he’s responded with five already this season, including a hat-trick against Exeter City.

The 32-year-old puts his form down to getting fitter this summer.

“For me, I think it was important to get a pre-season,” he said.

“Obviously, I signed from Toronto (in January), and before I signed I had an injury so I didn’t play for about four months. So it was quite difficult, to be honest.

“I always knew it was going to take time to get that level of fitness and sharpness, and that’s why it was important to get through the season and focus on having a good pre-season so I could start sharp, which I have done.

“That’s why I’m happy now, I’ve had a good pre-season, I feel strong and hopefully there are more goals to come.”