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Jermain Defoe is aiming to play at the 2018 World Cup

Is this perhaps the day’s least surprising news?

Jermain Defoe has hinted he’ll probably leave Sunderland at the end of the season if the Black Cats are relegated.

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The 34-year-old has admitted he would be forced to leave the Tyne-Wear side if they should fail to stay in the Premier League this season, as he hopes to play in next year’s World Cup in Russia.

Defoe has been recalled to the England squad by Gareth Southgate for Wednesday’s friendly against Germany in Dortmund and Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley.

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The veteran forward has notched 14 goals this term for Sunderland, despite the side frequenting the bottom three of the table.

The former Tottenham and Portsmouth striker hasn’t been a part of the England set-up since leaving the Premier League for MLS side Toronto back in 2014, but has found form since joining the Black Cats.

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Speaking to the press ahead of Wednesday’s clash against Germany, Defoe said: “When I missed out on the last World Cup squad it was hard news to accept.

“But at the same time you have to be realistic. The boys I was competing against were playing in the Premier League and Europe and that was probably why I missed out.

“So I would say so, yes, I would probably need to be playing in the Premier League to have a chance of going to the World Cup. To get into any  squad is based on merit, so you have got to be playing at the top level, it is as simple as that.”


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