By support

18th May, 2017 | 2:53pm

Everton in three-way race to sign PL striker, rivals offering £115k-a-week - report

By Will Butcher

Everton have joined the hotly-contested race to sign Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe this summer, according to a report.

The Sun claim Everton, along with West Ham and Bournemouth are battling for the player’s signature, but the south coast team have the edge.

Bournemouth have tabled a huge offer worth £115,000 a week to sign the Premier League goal machine this summer, with West Ham also said to be keen.

It is believed that Eddie Howe’s offer is a two-year deal, but Defoe is likely to keep his options open as he waits for offers from any other interested parties with Everton now interested.

England international Defoe is available on a free transfer this summer as a clause in his contract states he can leave the Wearside club for nothing if the Black Cats suffered relegation.

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Sunderland’s number 18 has been in sublime form this season, scoring 15 goals and laying on another two goals in assists, despite chances being at a premium in the Premier League’s rock-bottom side.

His form has even caught the attention of England boss Gareth Southgate, who gave Defoe his first Three Lions cap since November 2013.

It saw Defoe score his 20th England goal in a 2-0 win over Lithuania back in March during a 2018 World Cup qualifier, capitalising on a loose ball in the European minnows’ box.

Defoe could now be brought to Goodison Park with Ronald Koeman likely to be in the transfer market to give Romelu Lukaku competition, or indeed replace the Belgium international.

Football Insider verdict:

With Defoe in your side, you are guaranteed goals. It is difficult to find a striker who has proved as lethal in England’s top flight from around 18 yards out in recent Premier League history, as the former West Ham and Tottenham star continues to prove age is just a number. Even if it is only from the bench at Goodison Park that Defoe makes the majority of his appearances, you would still back the 56-time international to find the back of the net on a regular basis and with no transfer fee, he would prove a bargain for most Premier League sides. A top buy for Ronald Koeman, if he attempts to lure Defoe to Merseyside.

In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees are also keen on signing this Manchester City sensation.

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