Pundit believes Newcastle move would be “ideal” for in-demand striker

Liverpool legend and Sky Sports pundit Phil Thompson believes Newcastle United should go all out to sign Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe this summer, in what would be a controversial move.

Magpies boss Rafa Benitez is believed to want to make a significant number of additions this summer after securing an immediate return to the Premier League, and he will be looking for players that are proven in the top flight.

One player that could be on his list of targets is Defoe, who looks set to leave the Stadium of Light following the Mackems’ relegation to the Championship last weekend after they were beaten 1-0 at home by Bournemouth.

Despite the disappointing campaign for David Moyes’ men, the 34-year-old striker has scored 14 Premier League goals – form that saw him recalled to the England squad in March – and he will be keen to secure a top flight return to keep alive his chances of featuring for the Three Lions at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Thompson believes that while the potential transfer would not be a good one for Sunderland, it certainly would be for Defoe and Newcastle.

He told Sky Sports: “All of the clubs who come up will surely be interested in him but I would think straight away that Newcastle would be the ideal one.

“Staying up in the same area would be ideal for him, although that obviously wouldn’t sit well with Sunderland fans.

“Dwight Gayle has done well but has never delivered in the Premier League, likewise for Aleksandar Mitrovic, whereas Defoe has proven yet again that he has that qualify.”

Newcastle will look to try and win the Championship title when they host Barnsley at St James’ Park on Sunday, but they will know that they will have to better Brighton and Hove Albion’s result against Aston Villa at Villa Park if they are to do so.