Sunderland reject West Ham’s €7m bid for Jermain Defoe
London club’s second bid for former England striker fails to tempt David Moyes into selling
Jermain Defoe has scored 11 goals in 21 appearances for Sunderland so far this season. Photograph: Getty Images.
Sunderland have turned down a £6 million (€7m) bid for Jermain Defoe from West Ham United and have reiterated that they have no intention of selling their leading scorer.
It is the second offer from West Ham they have received since the transfer window opened – the opening salvo was £5m – and West Ham officials are understood to have encouraged David Moyes to name his price for the 34-year-old former England striker.
Unfortunately for Slaven Bilic, Sunderland’s manager described Defoe as priceless as recently as the week before Christmas and refused to countenance the idea of allowing his prize asset to return to the club he played for between 1999 and 2004.
Defoe has scored 11 goals in 21 appearances for Sunderland this season, thereby sustaining their hopes of escaping relegation.
Bilic has concerns of his own – which he clearly feels could be eased by his prime transfer target.
“He’s a very good player,” West Ham’s manager said recently. “I have a few midfielders from different countries telling me his movement is the best of the strikers they have played with.”
Defoe left West Ham in 2004 on a sour note, forcing through a £7m move to Tottenham Hotspur after West Ham’s relegation from the top tier, but later conceded he had made a mistake in agitating so hard for the transfer.
Signed for Sunderland by Gus Poyet two years ago following an unhappy stint in Canada with Toronto, Defoe has defied received wisdom that he was incapable of playing the lone striker role by frequently excelling in that capacity.
Although a Londoner, and frustrated by Sunderland’s enduring struggles, he has often emphasised how much he enjoys playing and living in the north-east with the chance to appear before consistently large, loud, crowds at the Stadium of Light a particular attraction.