In Focus: West Ham to meet Defoe’s wage demands

According to The Express, West Ham United are prepared to offer Jermain Defoe a £100,000-a-week contract in a bid to re-sign the departing Sunderland forward this summer.

What’s the story?

Defoe has managed 15 Premier League goals for Sunderland this season, but even another brilliant campaign from the 34-year-old was unable to prevent the Black Cats from being relegated to the Championship for the 2017-18 campaign.

Defoe, who has recently returned to the England set-up, will reportedly be available on a free transfer this summer after deciding to leave Sunderland following three seasons at the Stadium of Light.

Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and Bournemouth are just three of the clubs believed to be in the race to sign the experienced striker this summer, but according to The Express, West Ham are prepared to meet Defoe’s £100,000-a-week wage demands in order to secure his signature.

Defoe is understood to want a two-year contract, which West Ham are prepared to entertain, whilst regular Premier League football is said to be high on the 34-year-old’s priority list as he targets a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the 2018 World Cup.

Unfinished business at West Ham?

Defoe turned professional with West Ham at the age of 16, and made 105 appearances for the Hammers between 1999 and 2004, scoring 41 times in the process.

Following West Ham’s relegation to the Championship at the end of 2002-03 season, Defoe handed in a written transfer request, eventually joining Tottenham Hotspur in the 2004 January transfer window, where he was to enjoy two separate spells before leaving England for Toronto FC.

The experienced forward has scored 269 times in 645 senior appearances, whilst 33 goals for Sunderland over the last two seasons suggests that Defoe is not finished in England.

There are some at West Ham that would find it difficult to welcome Defoe back to the club with open arms – especially with such a high wage – but times have changed, and an underwhelming 2016-17 campaign has again strengthened the need for a striker that can put the ball in the back of the net.

Defoe is no longer able to run the channels for 90 minutes, but his finishing remains up there with the best in the business, and the chance to be part of West Ham’s evolving plans at the London Stadium is something that might well swing the striker’s decision this summer.