By support

27th Dec, 2016 | 8:24am

West Ham make Premier League veteran top January target as Bilic looks to buy British - report

By Will Butcher

West Ham have made Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe their top January transfer target, according to a report.

The Sun claim the 34-year-old is wanted back in east London after joining the club in 1999. He left West Ham in 2004 for Spurs in a £9million deal.

Defoe, who has scored eight goals in 18 domestic appearances for David Moyes’ struggling Sunderland outfit this season, has been touted as the man to solve the Hammers striker problem.

After going abroad in the summer for new recruits, unsuccessfully, manager Slaven Bilic is now reported to be targeting British players in January as he looks to fire the Hammers out of a relegation scrap.

The likes of Gokhan Tore, Sofiane Feghouli and Havard Nordtveit have all struggled at the London Stadium, while strikers Jonathan Calleri and Simone Zaza are yet to score a solitary goal for their new side.

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It was previously reported that the Hammers would look to make an offer of £6million to bring the player to east London.

As well as playing for the likes of Tottenham, Portsmouth and MLS outfit Toronto throughout his career, Defoe scored 41 goals in 104 appearances for West Ham during his five-year stint at the club.

Football Insider verdict:

Defoe would be the perfect January recruit at West Ham and Bilic is well advised to look for proven Premier League talent after a number of his summer signings have completely flopped. Despite sitting in 11th in the Premier League table, West Ham are only six points above 17th placed Crystal Palace and could still be dragged towards the bottom of the table with more than half of the season still remaining. Defoe’s incisiveness in front of goal (15 in 33 games) saved Sunderland from the drop last season, and he should now look to go full circle by re-signing for the club he played for at the start of his career. Defoe will score goals wherever he is, and that is exactly what West Ham need at the moment. It won’t be easy though – David Moyes has already come out and said the player is not for sale. 

In other West Ham transfer news, here is a betting update on the future of Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge.