By Harvey Byrne

Former West Ham man and current Sky Sports pundit Tony Cottee believes that Sunderland goal machine Jermain Defoe will be at the Hammers next season.

The 34-year-old has been one of the shining lights for the Black Cats this season and is believed to now be looking for a move away from the Wearside club following their 20th placing and resultant relegation to the Championship.

Now, Defoe’s former club West Ham have been heavily linked with a move for the forward, but the Times claim that Bournemouth are the frontrunners for his signature.

However, Cottee believes that the east London club will be Defoe’s preferred destination and has told that he believes the striker will be lining up in a Hammers shirt in the next campaign.

“Yes I think he will be Rob [Wotton],” started Cottee when replying to whether Defoe would be at West Ham next season on Wednesday morning’s Premier League Daily show on Sky Sports News.

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“I think that’s his preferred choice. Obviously it depends on the owners and the people running West Ham football club. Would I like to see him there? Yes I would. He’s a goalscorer.

“It’s hard to buy the goalscorers now. People say he’s 35 years of age, but in the modern game I think it’s easier to play to a latter age. I retired at 35, I think now you can play 36, 37 in the Premier League and Jermain’s done it this year. He’s scored a lot of goals, led the line on his own. Not had much support and still scored an incredible amount of goals.

“Bournemouth will be in for him and so so will many other clubs. But, if you ask me the preferred option I think it will be West Ham, will he be there? I’ve answered it. Yes.”

Defoe previously played for West Ham between 1999 and 2004 after breaking through the club’s academy ranks.

But, he left the club in controversial circumstances for Tottenham in 2004 after refusing to sign a new contact following the side’s relegation in 2003.

If he does sign for West Ham then he will be keen to endear himself back to supporters, while fans may also forgive him if he returns 15 goals for the club, as he has done in 37 outings for a poor Sunderland team this season.

In other West Ham transfer news, this Hammers 24-year-old has given an update on his future.

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