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Defoe 'looking forward' to Sunderland challenge

I am delighted to be here and I’m looking forward to the challenge.

It is a great club and I’ve always enjoyed coming up here and playing against Sunderland because of the stadium and the supporters. It is a great place to play and I’m really looking forward to it.

– Jermain Defoe, Sunderland AFC

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Black Cats complete Defoe signing

Sunderland have completed the signing of striker Jermain Defoe from MLS side Toronto FC.

The 32-year-old has joined the Black Cats on a three-and-a-half year deal. Sunderland also confirmed that USA striker Jozy Altidore has moved back to the MLS with Toronto as part of the deal.

Defoe returns to the Barclays Premier League, where he has scored more than 120 goals during spells with West Ham United, Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur. He switched to the MLS at the start of 2014 and scored 11 goals in 16 appearances for Toronto.

Pardew tried to lure Defoe to Palace instead of Sunderland

Jermain Defoe Credit: PA

Alan Pardew has admitted he failed to convince Jermain Defoe to sign for Crystal Palace over Sunderland.

Defoe is on the brink of rubber-stamping his move to Wearside from Toronto FC, with Pardew conceding Palace were forced out of the race for the former England striker.

More on this story from ITV Football.

Sunderland closing on Defoe deal

Toronto FC striker Jermain Defoe Credit: Vaughn Ridley/EMPICS Sport

Sunderland are understood to be close to finalising a deal bringing Toronto FC striker Jermain Defoe to the Stadium of Light.

The transfer for the 32-year-old is believed to be a swap deal, involving Sunderland's Jozy Altidore going back to the MLS with Toronto. It's understood there is no transfer fee involved.

Defoe is reported to have been on Wearside today to complete a medical and agree personal terms with the Black Cats. He could even make his Sunderland debut against former club Tottenham on Saturday if the deal is completed in time.

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Sunderland striker Altidore travels to Toronto as Defoe moves other way

Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore Credit: PA

Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore was on his way to Toronto on Thursday morning as he and Jermain Defoe prepared to trade places.

Press Association Sport says the 25-year-old United States international was booked on a flight to Canada after travelling down to London from the North East on Wednesday evening with Defoe, 32, having headed in the opposite direction.

Altidore's proposed return to Major League Soccer to replace the former Tottenham frontman in a player-plus-cash deal remains a major factor in Defoe's switch to the Black Cats, but the move will have to be ratified by American game's governing body. MLS operates an allocation policy, meaning Toronto FC do not necessarily have first refusal.

More on this story from ITV Football

Transfer rumours: Sunderland targets Jermain Defoe

Credit: PA

England striker Jermaine Defoe could be making the move to Wearside, according to the national press.

Sky Sports are reporting Sunderland have held talks with Toronto FC, where he moved last year, over a possible deal to sign the former Spurs player.

The 32-year old has been training with Tottenham during the MLS off-season.

Sterling break was 'already planned' says Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Raheem Sterling's winter break had been 'already planned' since the summer.

The 20-year-old forward was given permission to go on holiday to Jamaica, and missed both the club's FA Cup win over AFC Wimbledon and yesterday's 1-0 win at Sunderland in the Premier League.

But Rodgers said he felt Sterling needed a rest.

Sunderland fans 'need to accept the reality' says Poyet

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet says fans 'need to accept the reality' of the situation the club is in.

The home crowd vented their frustrations during yesterday's 1-0 defeat to Liverpool at the Stadium of Light. That result leaves the Black Cats just one point above the Premier League relegation zone.

But Poyet said:

I think they should look at the team. I think it's been going on for the last four of five years. I think they should be a little bit more patient.

– Gus Poyet, Sunderland AFC Head Coach
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