Rangers striker Jermain Defoe makes a decision on his future amid rumours of a dramatic return to Sunderland
Jermain Defoe has signed a new contract with Rangers – after being linked with a dramatic return to Sunderland.
The experienced striker was linked with a move to the Stadium of Light in the Scottish press, while League One rivals Ipswich Town were also thought to have considered a swoop for the striker this summer.
Defoe was set to his terms at Ibrox expire after helping the side to a historic 55th top tier title in Scotland, but has now penned a new one-year deal.
And the agreement will see the former Tottenham and Portsmouth man take his first steps into coaching alongside his playing duties – with the man himself saying the chance to become a player-coach was an ‘unbelievable opportunity’.
"It is well-documented how much I love the club and the relationship I have with the fans, the players and the staff at the club,” said Defoe, speaking to Rangers’ official website.
"So to get the deal over the line, I am just delighted. It is something I wanted to happen, even before the season finished, especially the way we finished the season with winning the league.
"It was the perfect time to be at the football club and it was so special, so to sign another contract as a player/coach, and to still be a part of it, it is an amazing feeling for me and my family.
"It is something different and it is something new for me, and first of all, I want to thank the board, Ross [Wilson] and the manager and all the staff that have made this happen.
"It is an unbelievable opportunity for me and it just shows the appreciation I get from everyone at the football club which is the best feeling in the world more than anything else, and I can imagine once I get started, hopefully I will just flow into it and everything will happen quite naturally."
Steven Gerrard added: “I am absolutely delighted to be retaining the services of Jermain both as a player, and now also as a coach.
“It is well-documented the relationship I have with him having known him for so many years, and I am thrilled that he is going to be passing on his amazing experience and professionalism to the attacking players throughout the club.”