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31st Dec, 2016 | 1:23pm

Betting update: West Ham favourites to sign goal machine in January

By Amir Mir

West Ham are favourites to sign Sunderland goal machine Jermain Defoe in the January window, according to the latest bookmakers’ odds.

Leading bookmaker Sky Bet have placed odds of 15/8 for the former England international to join the east London club before February 3.

Defoe, who has scored 152 goals in 449 Premier League games, has had to play down rumours linking him with a move to Slaven Bilic’s side.

The 34-year-old has previously played for the Hammers, where he scored 29 goals in 94 games during the early part of his career.

West Ham are not the only team in the running for his signature,as  Crystal Palace are 8/1 to sign Defoe and there are odds of 28/1 for the goalscorer to make a return to Tottenham.

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Defoe has scored eight goals in 18 Premier League games for a struggling Black Cats side this season, including finding the net on 15 occasions as the north-east club avoided relegation during the previous campaign.

Bilic’s side, on the other hand, have struggled in front of goal with striker Simone Zaza failing to break his goalscoring duck following his loan move from Juventus in the summer.

Injury-prone forward Andy Carroll has scored two goals in six league games, including during their 4-1 win at Swansea last time out.

Versatile attacker, Michail Antonio is their top scorer, finding the back of the net on eight occasions, including two goals in his last four games.

In other West Ham transfer news, the Hammers are eyeing up a move for midfielder Xhaka after being told he is available in January.