The 32-year-old only left England for Canada 11 months ago, but he is??understood to have now all but agreed personal terms with the Black Cats after spending Thursday at their training ground.
If the paper work is completed in time Defoe could even face his former employers??Tottenham at the weekend, with Gus Poyet’s Sunderland side travelling to White??Hart Lane on Saturday.
“I felt so sharp (in his medical). All that hard work has??paid off. I can’t wait to start scoring goals for Sunderland,” Defoe told the Daily Mirror.
“Everybody knows how much I love English football and I still feel that I have??a lot to offer.
“People might look at my age, but I have always looked after myself and I hope??I can show that with my performances.”
Speculation has increased over Defoe’s future in the last week after he??revealed on social media that he was back in Britain on January 6 and training with Spurs to keep his fitness up.
The former Portsmouth forward wrote: “Just touched down in the UK from south??of France,was training with my fitness guy feeling stronger than ever!??#Ready.”
In the last 48 hours the noises linking Defoe with Sunderland have grown??increasingly encouraging, with the deal apparently dependent on misfiring American Jozy??Altidore returning to the MLS.
The 25-year-old United States international had been touted to replace Defoe at??Toronto in a straight swap deal, although that move would have to be approved by??the MLS, which operates an allocation policy.
However, it is a deal which could suit all parties with Defoe returning to the??Premier League and Altidore having struggled to live up to the ??6.5m fee??and reputation with which he arrived from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar during the??summer of 2013.
Poyet has made no secret of his desire to add firepower to his squad – which??has managed just 18 goals in 21 Premier League games so far this season to lie perilously close to the drop zone??- during the January transfer window, and Defoe certainly brings that.
He has been prolific through his club career and his 55 senior appearances for??England have brought him 19 goals.
By contrast, Altidore has found the going tough on his return to England’s top??flight, where he spent a similarly unsuccessful season on loan at Hull earlier in his career.