Crystal Palace manager, Alan Pardew has admitted the club made a bid to land Jermain Defoe, but missed out as the striker as he decided to join Sunderland.
Palace sit just a point outside of the relegation zone and Pardew is looking for a striker to help fire them up the table, a quality in very short supply in a desperate basement battle for survival.
Pardew has already swooped to sign Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo on loan for the rest of the season, but don't expect his January business to be over there if efforts to try and sign Defoe are anything to go by.
A Keen Interest
Pardew identified Defoe as one of his top targets and admitted as much in his pre-match press conference said in a press conference, revealing: ''We tried to get Defoe, but probably a bit late in the loop on that one.
'It never really got to the stage where I got to speak to Jermain, so I would say we were not that close.'
Could Defoe make the difference?
The new Eagles boss believes the signing of Defoe will save Sunderland from the threat of relegation.
He added: "'I think it's a good move for Sunderland to have secured Jermain, I think he's a goal scorer and Gus (Poyet) will be the first to tell you they need more goals,'
"Strikers don't always have to contribute goals, but Defoe will always get his fair share and that could be so vital at the end of the season."
Defoe scored 11 goals in 16 games during his spell at Toronto, but was unhappy with life in Canada and wanted a move back to England.
He's scored 123 goals in 378 Premier League appearances and The Black Cats will be desperate to get a similar sort of record out of him during a potential three-and-a-half-year stint on Wearside.
Pardew's only concern about Defoe is the fact he hasn't had a good run of Premier League games for a long time.
"He's still got to step in, I don't know the last time Jermain had a run of three or four Premier League games," he said.
"He'll be asked to start every week at Sunderland, so I think he's going to have to grasp it quickly."
"But he's a goal scorer, he opens up the goal with both feet and gets goals that (make) you question your back four, he makes you think "how did he get that?"
Pardew managed Defoe whilst the pair were at West Ham in late 2003 and would have loved to manage him again but Palace boss is now exploring other options.
The club have already had a bid turned down for Bafetembi Gomis from Swansea and it's thought that Pardew is interested in out of favour Liverpool striker, Ricky Lambert.
Expect Pardew to spend big if that's what it takes to keep Palace in the Premier League, with Selhurst Park one destination you can expect to see new signings over the next fortnight.
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