The 39-year-old made an emotional return to the Stadium of Light at the start of February following his release by Rangers.
But seven weeks since his Sunderland reunion, it is claimed the striker is close to calling time on his glittering 22-year career, which has seen him net 304 goals across nine different clubs.
However, it has been far from a fairy tale return for the ex-England international, who has only amassed only 251 minutes of action since rejoining the Black Cats.
In addition, he has failed to score in any of his seven games under Alex Neil, which has included two starts.
On Tuesday evening, Sunderland Echo reporter James Copley tweeted: ‘Reports are circling suggesting Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe, 39, is on the verge of retiring with immediate effect.’
New boss Neil continues to overlook in Sunderland’s promotion charge, instead favouring top scorer Ross Stewart to lead the line.
But weeks into his return, reports suggest Defoe could make a surprise announcement that would see him curtail his Black Cats spell and end his playing days.
Defoe came through the ranks at West Ham in 2000, where he find the net 41 times in 105 appearances before switching to Spurs.
In January 2008, he joined former boss Harry Redknapp at Pompey, netting 17 times in 36 outings, although was cup-tied for their 2008 FA Cup success.
He left Fratton Park in controversial circumstances a year later when Tony Adams was at the helm, forcing through a return to Spurs.
The prolific striker then had spells at Toronto, Sunderland, Bournemouth and Rangers.
He would also rack up 57 caps for England and would find the net 20 times at international level.
The striker is the Premier League’s ninth highest goalscorer since it’s 1992 formation, but there are suggestions he is ready to call time on an illustrious career.
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