Sunderland have reportedly agreed to make Jermain Defoe their highest paid player on about £70,000 a week for the next three and a half years in a swap deal that sends underperforming Jozy Altidore to Toronto FC. This a long time and a lot of money for an injury-prone 32-year-old. The following is a transcript of how that decision was made.
Sunderland: Welcome to Sunderland, Jermain! We’re so glad you’re here. We just have one question for you before we begin negotiating your contract.
Defoe: Sure. Go for it.
Sunderland: Are you now or have you ever been Jozy Altidore?
Sunderland: Are you now or have you ever been Jozy Altidore? It’s a simple question. And the fact that you haven’t answered it yet is, frankly, very troubling to us.
Defoe: No — no, I’m not Jozy Altidore. I’m Jermain Defoe. That’s a ridiculous question.
Sunderland: OK. Because if you are Jozy Altidore, you have to tell us. That’s a law. If we ask, you have to tell us.
Defoe: First of all, I’m definitely not Jozy Altidore. And second, that’s for undercover cops. And I don’t think that’s even an actual law for them. That’s just something they say in films.
Sunderland: Well, we do plan to write a clause into your contract that says that if you are revealed to secretly be Jozy Altidore, the deal is off. OK?
Defoe: That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, but fine. Whatever.
Sunderland: Wait — you’re not really Fernando Torres either, are you? What about Roberto Soldado? We would be slightly more OK with things if you were actually Roberto Soldado, but we’d still be like, “ugh, really?”
Sunderland: OK. Good…good. You can never be too careful, you know? You sign someone who scores 50 goals over two seasons in the Netherlands and then he gets here and he’s lucky to get three. It makes you question everything you know about football and life and…love. Anyway, what kind of terms are you looking for, Jermain?
Defoe: I was thinking maybe three and a half years, £50,000 a week.
Sunderland: HAHAHA are you serious? That’s a lot of money and a long time for a guy your age. But you did say that you’re absolutely, positively not Jozy Altidore, Fernando Torres or Roberto Soldado. Correct?
Defoe: Yeah, I’m not any of those people. I’m not telling you again.
Sunderland: How about £70,000 a week?
Defoe: What? That’s…that’s more than I asked for.
Sunderland: Yes it is.
Defoe: OK. I mean, yeah, I’ll take it.
Sunderland: Excellent! We’re really excited about this, Jermain. And if you have any friends who are also not Jozy Altidore, please send them our way. We can use all the help we can get.
Defoe: Yeah. This has gotten weird and I’m starting to feel bad for the guy, so I’m going to go over there now.
Sunderland: (blankly stares into the abyss of relegation)