£9m Defoe shock: Sunderland bid for Tottenham star

Last updated at 20:26 03 July 2007

Sunderland have made an audacious £9million bid for Tottenham and England striker Jermain Defoe.

The move is likely to spark a bidding war among Premiership clubs for the former West Ham star.

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Jermain Defoe

Defoe struggled to hold down a place in Martin Jol's side last season and the £16.5m arrival of Darren Bent from Charlton has put his position at the club in further doubt.

Portsmouth, Aston Villa and West Ham are also interested in the player and all three have funds available to trump Sunderland's offer.

Defoe, who has two years left on his Spurs contract, is not likely to be tempted by a move to Wearside, which would involve moving 300 miles from his London roots.

The 24-year-old has previously indicated his determination to stay at White Hart Lane and fight for his place although his club are willing to listen to offers.

Defoe's place in Steve McClaren's England squad may also be under threat if he is not playing regularly in the first team.

Spurs have an embarrassment of riches in attack with Bent and Defoe joined by Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane on the squad list for next season.

Egypt striker Mido is also still a Spurs player although he is almost certain to be sold this summer.

Sunderland's offer for Defoe shows the scale of the ambition at the Premiership newcomers. Manager Roy Keane has promised to bring in high-quality players.

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