By Dominic Toner
West Ham are set to submit a second bid for Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe, according to a report.
The Mirror claim that the Hammers have had a £5million bid rebuffed by Sunderland for the 34-year-old and have insisted that he is not for sale.
The report details that West Ham may not be deterred by the rejection and feel that Defoe is interested in a move back to the club he started his senior career.
It is understood that new Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce is also watching the developments of the Sunderland with interest, but West Ham are keen to sign a prolific striker this January to secure their Premier League safety.
The Hammers have endured a frustrating season following their move to the London Stadium and were expected to challenge for a European place.
Slaven Bilic’s side are 13th-placed in the table and are seven points adrift of the relegation places.
A run of there consecutive victories in December helped them steer away from the drop zone, but they have suffered back-to-back defeats against Manchester United and Leicester in their last two games.
Meanwhile, Defoe is currently fighting a serious relegation battle with Sunderland and they occupy 18th in the table
The Black Cats earned a precious point in a 2-2 draw against Liverpool on Monday and Defoe scored twice from the penalty spot.
The forward has been crucial to Sunderland this season and has scored 11 goals in 21 appearances across all competitions.
Football Insider verdict:
West Ham’s interest in Defoe is an interesting one as he is clearly not the long-term option at 34. However, he is proving this season that he is still one of the most clinical finishers in the Premier League and could still have another couple of seasons in him at the top level. The Englishman is still continuously snubbed by the national side and several people feel he should still be involved. West Ham could exploit Defoe’s talents during the next 18 months and his goals could help fire them to a European spot. The Hammers are desperate to challenge at the top-end of the table following their move to the London Stadium and there are not many better strikers currently around who will get you guaranteed goals in the Premier League.
In other West Ham transfer news, the club’s player has been shortlisted by their Premier League rivals to fill their homegrown quota.