Despite nearly a fortnight’s worth of denials from David Moyes, West Ham are still interested in a move for Jermain Defoe. It was confirmed earlier this week that West Ham put just the one £6M bid in for Defoe that was rejected, but there has been speculation and phantom bids being reported all over the place since then, making it seem that the Hammers are desperate for the Englishman.
To be fair, the Hammers are in pretty desperate need of a striker, but not so much that they would bid £13M for a 34-year-old who, even with his 11 goals in 21 appearances this season, could in no way keep up his current production two to three years into the future.
Moyes has most recently said this on the matter: “West Ham made a bid and we rejected it. We have said [Defoe] is not for sale and he is not for sale,” he insisted. “That has come from the owner. He says [Defoe] is not for sale. We have not put a price on him or asked for a second bid. [Defoe] signed a new contract in the summer. He is here. I don't see him having a problem. He is really important for us."
Even amidst Moyes’ comments, it hasn’t stopped Slaven from heaping praise on the player, saying "I said last time that he does the things that are the most important in football: score goals. He did that last year and he was probably the main reason Sunderland stayed up. He is doing it again this season, but he is also making chances and making them into goals."
It is also worthy of noting that Defoe does have interest in a return to West Ham, according to his old Spurs teammate, Jermaine Jenas.
It’s unlikely, yes, but a return to West Ham for Defoe would surely right a lot of wrongs the Englishman committed in his younger days. It would be ironic for him to leave a struggling Sunderland side to rejoin West Ham after all these years, as it’s almost the exact fashion in which he ditched the Hammers for their most-hated rival, the Tottenham Hotspurs over a decade ago.
All in all, as long as the price is right, a return could be a nice reconciliation for a matured Defoe, and for a West Ham side that is struggling to put the ball in the net. It seems pretty clear as of now that Sunderland are not looking to sell the only asset that could keep them afloat in the Premier League for at least one more season, but should Defoe put in a transfer request, things could change.
What the Hammers should do, though, is look to their extremely talented youth players to score more goals for them, forget about signing Defoe (or any other striker), and focus on what’s most important in this window: signing a right-back.