Rangers have held talks with AFC Bournemouth over the future of Jermain Defoe, but do not expect the Cherries to trigger the recall clause in the striker’s temporary deal, according to Football Insider.
Defoe moved to Ibrox on an 18-month loan agreement in the winter, but his parent Premier League side inserted a clause which sees that manager Eddie Howe is offered the chance to take the former England international back to the south coast in January 2020 should he wish.
Defoe was rarely in favour at the Vitality Stadium following his move to Bournemouth from Sunderland as a free agent in 2017, making just 34 outings for 1,444 minutes across all competitions before joining Rangers on loan in January ’19 (TransferMarkt).
Things have been vastly different for the 57-cap ex-England international at Ibrox, though, as Steven Gerrard has trusted the veteran centre-forward to feature for 1,778 minutes across 34 outings, including the full game on Sunday when he scored a hat-trick against Hamilton Academical.
If Gerrard were to lose the Charlton Athletic product in January, Bournemouth would be depriving Rangers of their leading goalscorer in the Scottish Premiership, and one that has now scored three more than any other player in the top-flight and contributed 35% of the Gers’ total of 26 (WhoScored).
But Rangers are not anticipating an early farewell for Defoe, as discussions with Bournemouth over the striker’s form and future have not caused any expectations north of the border that the Cherries will trigger their recall clause.
Howe is thought to be happy with his forward contingent of Callum Wilson, Dominic Solanke and Josh King, despite neither of the trio scoring away to Arsenal on Sunday when all three were handed starting roles at the Emirates.
Wilson has scored five in eight while King has two in eight (WhoScored), and Defoe is allegedly only seen as a back-up option should one of the Cherries’ attackers suffer a long-term injury or move on in the winter.
Defoe has also indicated to Rangers that he wants to see out the campaign at Ibrox and help the Gers clinch a first Premiership title since 2011.
Bournemouth showing no indications at this stage that they will be recalling Defoe will be a huge boost for Gerrard and Rangers, given how important he has been to their efforts in front of goal so far this term.
Should something change at the Vitality Stadium which would make Howe think again about Defoe’s future, it would be questionable if he feels the 37-year-old can replicate his goalscoring exploits in the Premier League, given he only scored four times for the south coast natives before leaving on loan.
Defoe reiterating his intentions to help the Gers to a 55th Premiership crown could also prove decisive in any scenario where he could be recalled, as the forward may be reticent to returning to Bournemouth if he is not guaranteed to play.
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