Jermain Defoe has hinted he will leave Sunderland if they are relegated from the Premier League
By talkSPORT – @talkSPORT
Monday, March 20, 2017
Jermain Defoe has targeted making England’s final World Cup squad next year and hinted he may have to leave Sunderland if they are relegated.
The striker has been recalled to the Three Lions for the first time since 2013 after scoring 14 Premier League goals this season, despite the Black Cats battling relegation.
Defoe could feature in Wednesday’s friendly in Germany ahead of Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley.
He wants to make Gareth Southgate’s squad for next year’s tournament in Russia – should England qualify – but conceded that would be in doubt if Sunderland were relegated.
“You have to be realistic, to get into any squad is based on merit and to do that you have to be playing at the top level,” said Defoe, who has scored 19 goals in 55 games for England.
“When I went to Toronto (in 2014) I missed out on the World Cup. When I got the call it was hard to accept but you had to be realistic and think the boys I was competing against were playing the Premier League and Europe and that’s why I missed out.
“So, yeah, I would say you would need to be playing in the Premier League but we’ll see what happens.”