REUTERS - Manager David Moyes confirmed on Friday that he will stay in charge of Sunderland next season, but revealed that top scorer Jermain Defoe could leave the club following their relegation to the Championship.
Moyes, who has a four-year contract, said he had held initial talks over his future with the club’s chairman, Ellis Short, and chief executive Martin Bain this week, and has already begun making plans for life in the second tier.
Sunderland’s relegation was confirmed following their 1-0 defeat by Bournemouth last weekend, which left them 13 points adrift of safety with four games remaining, bringing the curtain down on their 10-year stay in the Premier League.
“I’ve got a four-year contract and I’ll be Sunderland manager next season,” the Scot told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Hull City.
”I know what needs to be done to get back in the Premier League and I know what the requirements are to do that.
“I met with Martin and Ellis this week and we had initial discussions about how we move forward. We will meet again in a few weeks.”
The future is less certain for England international Defoe, who has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave the club as a free agent in the event of relegation.
The 34-year-old will have no shortage of suitors after another productive season in which he contributed 14 league goals.
“Jermain has a clause in his contract so it’s possible (he will leave at the end of the season),” Moyes said.
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra