West Ham boss Slaven Bilic responds to questions about Jermain Defoe after Sunderland reject interest

Defoe is Sunderland's top scorer this season
Defoe is Sunderland's top scorer this season
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Slaven Bilic refused to be drawn on West Ham's pursuit of Jermain Defoe, but again praised the striker's finishing abilities.

The Croatian manager told the media he would 'not talk about individual names' amid the Hammers' pursuit of Sunderland's leading goal scorer.

The Echo understands that West Ham would be willing to offer up to £15 million for the 34-year-old, but the Black Cats remain insistent that he is not for sale.

Bilic was, however, effusive in his praise for Defoe last week and reiterated his admiration this morning: "He has the most important thing in the game: Goals. He converts most chances into goals."

Bilic also confirmed that he has watched Brentford striker Scott Hogan, after reports that they have seen a £10 million bid for the Championship striker rejected.

West Ham's need for reinforcements was laid bare after Bilic admitted that Simone Zaza, the club's marquee signing on loan from Juventus, has no future at the club.