OXFORD United are interested in signing former England striker Jermain Defoe, according to reports.

The U’s are in competition with Sky Bet League One rivals Sunderland, Charlton Athletic and Ipswich Town to secure the services of the 39-year-old until the end of the season, Sky Sports claims.

Defoe, who scored 20 goals in 57 games for England and went to the 2010 World Cup, is a free agent after leaving Rangers earlier this month.

Read also: Comparing Oxford United's transfer window so far to previous years

He would surely need to take a significant pay cut to come to United, having spent most of his career in the top divisions in England and Scotland.

It comes after the former West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland striker confirmed a few clubs were interested during an appearance on talkSPORT this morning.

"When I signed the Rangers contract in the summer, I stressed that I wanted to play in front of fans," Defoe said.

"I missed them so much, it wasn't the same, so I wanted another season.

"To be honest, it's been mad. My phone has gone mad.

"We've got a few options.

"Sunderland is one and I think it's well documented that it is there."

United need back-up for striker Matty Taylor, with Sam Winnall and Dan Agyei struggling for form and fitness.

Defoe came through the youth ranks at Charlton and played for Sunderland in the Premier League between 2015 and 2017.

But Black Cats boss Lee Johnson told the Sunderland Echo today that 'a lot of people would have to be happy with it (the deal) and at the moment it's not quite there'.

Defoe reportedly has coaching offers and is yet to decide if he will definitely continue playing.

The forward joined Rangers in July 2019 and scored in a 5-0 win over the U's in a pre-season friendly at Ibrox a few days later.