Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe has contacted West Ham about a sensational return to the club in the January transfer window, Football Insider sources understand.

The 36-year-old forward has struggled for game time on the south coast this season, with Cherries boss Eddie Howe handing him just four appearances in all competitions so far.

The form of Callum Wilson and Joshua King has kept Defoe out of contention for a starting spot at the Vitality Stadium, with Bournemouth’s impressive form seeing them collect 16 points from their first eight games to lie in sixth in the Premier League.

A well-placed source has now told Football Insider that Defoe is keen on a return to West Ham, where he spent five years at the start of his career.

Defoe has already contacted the club about a potential return to east London, with the club thought to be on the lookout for another striker in the January market.

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The Hammers are thought to have concerns over the fitness of Marko Arnautovic, Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez, while Lucas Perez has failed to fire since his summer move from Arsenal.

The 5ft 7in former England international made 94 appearances for the Irons during his five-year spell, scoring 29 goals in that time.