West Ham United have stepped up their audacious efforts to re-sign Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe. According to Sky Sports, the Black Cats rejected an initial offer of £6 million on Wednesday afternoon. West Ham, who are desperate to add firepower to their squad following a difficult start to life at the London Stadium, are expected to return with an improved bid for the 34-year-old. Defoe, who hails from London and began his career with West Ham, almost single-handedly kept the Black Cats in the Premier League last season and has already netted 11 times this campaign. He has 30 goals in 70 appearances for Sunderland, a commendable record considering their ongoing struggles.
What would he bring to West Ham?
Put simply – goals, goals and more goals. Defoe is a proven Premier League marksman who has found the net with regularity, wherever he has played. Such players are worth their weight in gold, so it is no surprise to see the Hammers test Sunderland’s resolve. West Ham have found goals hard to come by this season, with only 23 in their 20 outings. Injuries to Andy Carroll and big-money summer signing Andre Ayew, coupled with the total ineffectiveness of loanee Simone Zaza, means solving their scoring issues is Slaven Billic’s priority as he plots his side’s revival. Even at 34, Defoe has shown this season that he can still do a job if the service is there.
Is a move likely?
From Sunderland’s perspective, allowing Defoe to depart in this transfer window is unthinkable. Manager David Moyes has described the diminutive forward’s goals as ‘priceless’ and it’s no exaggeration to say that selling him would go a long way to condemning them to relegation. While it could free up funds for Moyes to spend on other targets, the former England international is irreplaceable right now. Perhaps in the summer, the Black Cats would be willing to cash in on their ageing striker if their valuation is met – but definitely not before. While the player himself may fancy a return to where it all began, he is almost certain not to be given the chance.
1/10 – West Ham will hope money talks and that Sunderland’s owners are blinded by pound signs. But it would only take a monumental offer for the Black Cats to even countenance selling their star player. Sunderland know they are in a dog fight to stay up this season and Defoe’s goals could be the deciding factor. Can you imagine the reaction of the club’s supporters if the powers-that-be sanction a move away? There would be a mutiny on Wearside.
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