'This is home' – West Ham boss makes big play for PL hotshot
By Russell Edge
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic is considering making moves for Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe and Birmingham City forward Che Adams, according to a report.
The Mirror claims that the Croatian boss is looking to improve his strike force ahead of next season and sees both the experienced Defoe and the youthful Adams as options.
Bilic was quoted as saying that he is only interested in signing players who can make an impact: “We’ve got to get players who can make a difference,” he said in the Mirror.
Defoe, who will be a free agent as a result of a relegation clause in his Sunderland contract, is a former Hammer himself, having risen through the youth ranks at the London club.
Bilic admitted that there was a lot of interest in the 34-year-old but made a big statement of intent when he said that east London was where he belonged.
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The Mirror quote Bilic as saying: “Defoe is a very interesting player – even those big clubs are thinking about him as back-up, but this is home.”
Meanwhile Adams has enjoyed a successful season at relegation threatened Birmingham City this season.
The 20-year-old scored seven goals in 40 appearances for the Championship side, including the goal which ensured the Midlands club’s survival in a 1-0 victory over Bristol City on the final day of the season.
Adams joined Birmingham from Sheffield United in the summer of 2016, signing a deal keeping him at the club until 2019.
Football Insider verdict:
It is no surprise that West Ham are in the market for another striker, after seeing target man Andy Carroll suffer setback after setback this season. Diafra Sakho has also had his injury problems, which has meant relying on youngster Jonathan Calleri to lead the line. They will be looking to secure a natural goalscorer to fire them up the table next season, with midfielders Michail Antonio and Manuel Lanzini leading the goal scoring table for the Hammers. Defoe has proven year after year he has what it takes to score goals at this level, while Che Adams would prove to be more of a risk. At 20-years-old, he still has a lot of time to develop and would certainly be an investment for the future.
In other West Ham news, the club are also in the hunt for another proven Premier League striker.