Sunderland can sign Jermaine Defoe in the summer but only if they are playing Championship football next season.
That is according to ex-Premier League goalscorer Kevin Campbell, speaking exclusively after Football Insider revealed that Defoe may leave Rangers when his contract expires at the end of the season unless he agrees to a wage cut.
Defoe spent two-and-a-half seasons with Sunderland between 2015 and 2017, scoring 37 goals in 93 appearances and becoming a fan favourite in the process.
For Rangers, the 57-time England man has slipped down the pecking order and has started just three times in the Scottish Premiership this season.
Campbell has no doubts that Defoe would score plenty of goals for Sunderland but claims that a move is only likely if they can get out of League One this season.
“There’s a chance, maybe,” he told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.
“Jermaine Defoe is a good goalscorer and looks after himself. He’ll score goals wherever he goes.
“He will always be a threat because he’s got the knowledge and know-how in and around the box.
“The key is Sunderland getting promoted. That’s the spanner in the works. But if that is the case, I’m sure it’s an offer Jermaine will entertain.”
Sunderland are currently 4th in the third-tier, five points outside the automatic promotion spots.
The mood at the club is more positive than it has been in recent years after the takeover of 23-year-old Kyle Louis-Dreyfus.