England international Jermain Defoe has returned to Bournemouth 16 years after a loan spell from relegated Sunderland on a free transfer.
Defoe hit 15 top-flight goals for Sunderland last season but his efforts could not stop them dropping down to the Championship, with the 34-year-old departing for a three-year deal at Bournemouth.
The former Tottenham and Toronto striker enjoyed a successful spell at Bournemouth early in his career, scoring 12 goals over 10 consecutive league games while on loan from West Ham in the 2000-2001 campaign.
Bournemouth are also reportedly closing in on the signing of Chelsea defender Nathan Ake, who was on loan at the club last season, with the fee for the Netherlands international reported to be around £20million.
Defoe insisted he will “guarantee” goals at the Vitality Stadium following his return.
“It’s great to be back and I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” Defoe told the Bournemouth website. “When the opportunity came to return to Bournemouth I just knew it was the right time.
“It was an easy decision, joining a top team with a top manager [Eddie Howe]. It’s a great place to be. The Bournemouth fans know that every time I pull on the shirt I will give 100 per cent – and the one thing I can guarantee is goals.”
Howe played with Defoe for Bournemouth during his loan spell and hailed the signing of the striker – who has hit 20 goals in 57 caps for England – as a coup for the club.
“This is a huge moment for the club and another step in the right direction,” Howe said. “We want to bring players here who can have a big impact on our continued rise and we believe Jermain fits that as a natural, proven goalscorer.
“We have known him for a long time, since working with him as a young pro and playing with him. I have followed his career and am delighted to say he is going to be playing for Bournemouth again.”