The former England international has spent one season in the MLS with Toronto, but is already looking to head back to the Premier League.
QPR were on the verge of snapping him up on transfer deadline day, but the Reds refused to sanction a deal with the North American season having been in full swing.
And now West Ham have joined them in the battle ahead of the New Year.
Defoe started his career with the Hammers, and could be tempted by a return even though some sections of their supporters were frustrated by his exit.
The 31-year-old has a proven record in the English game after spells with the Irons, Tottenham and Portsmouth, but his £90,000-per-week wage demands may be a concern.
West Ham can meet them, yet with Diafara Sakho and Enner Valencia impressing there may be little desire to do so.
QPR offered Fabio Borini a similar wage over the summer.
Defoe is said to be disillusioned at Toronto with the move failed to book him a spot at the World Cup and the exit of Ryan Nielsen as head coach.
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