West Ham will pay £15 million for Jermain Defoe, but Sunderland won't sell

Jermain Defoe in action against former club West Ham. Picture by FRANK REID

Jermain Defoe in action against former club West Ham. Picture by FRANK REID

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West Ham United are believed to be willing to pay £15 million for Jermain Defoe.

However, that figure is unlikely to cut any mustard with Sunderland after boss David Moyes described the 11-goal striker as "priceless".

The Hammers have already had a £5 million-plus bid rejected by the Premier League relegation fighters. Even if they add another 10, it will get the same response.

There is talk, eminating from the London press, of the 34-year-old making an emotional return to his first club where he began his illustrious career at the age of 16.

It is true West Ham are his local team - Defoe was born and raised in Beckton, a long clearance from Upton Park.

But the Eastender left the Boleyn Ground under a cloud in 2003 to join Tottenham, not a popular transfer if you are a Hammer.

Defoe was booed on his first visit to West Ham's new home at the Olympic Stadium back in October.

Would the ex-England striker even want to leave the Stadium of Light?

Defoe thinks the world of Sunderland - and vice-versa - after the club brought him back to the Stadium of Light in 2015 from the MLS, sending Jozy Altidore in the opposite direction.

His 18 goals last season kept the Black Cats in the Premier League and he's carried on this term with another 11, including a double against Liverpool on Monday.

One fact being overlooked in the frenzied transfer talk is that Defoe only signed an extended and improved contract in the summer, keeping him on Wearside until 2019.

West Ham legend Tony Cottee has become the latest figure to suggest he should return to London.

"Once he's scored his first goal for the club we'll be singing his name," said Cottee.

"It's important West Ham get a goalscorer in now because we want to move up.''