Jermain Defoe will be able to leave Sunderland for nothing if the Black Cats are relegated in May, according to the Sunderland Echo.
It was a clause put into his contract by Sam Allardyce before his departure from the club as he signed a new deal until 2019, further alerting the interest of West Ham who have been linked to the striker in recent months.
If Sunderland do slip into the Championship, there is sure to be a scramble for Defoe’s signature this summer with the striker having scored 29 goals since the start of last season and proving he is still one of the deadliest strikers in the Premier League – and earning an England recall as a result – despite his age.
It would take a miracle for David Moyes’ flops to beat the Premier League drop as they lay seven points from safety with ten matches to go.
A Hammers source said: “We remain interested in Jermain after trying to sign him in January.
“He’s 34 but his call up for England tells you everything you need to know. We want to discover where he stands on the contract.