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West Ham United are reportedly ready to bring Sunderland striker Jermaine Defoe back to London in a free transfer, according to claims made by the Sun.

Slaven Bilic is a keen admirer of the England international, having been recalled to the side after a four-year hiatus from the squad, believing he can bring him to the Capital for nothing should the Black Cats go down.

David Moyes’ Sunderland currently sit bottom of the Premier League and look destined to be relegated at the end of the season, trailing by seven points with just ten games to go.

However, should the same story of rising against the odds and beating the drop happen again for the north-east side, then prizing Defoe away could be made more difficult.

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It was no secret West Ham were interested in signing him in January, but ultimately failed, although the interest has not waived.

“We remain interested in Jermain after trying to sign him in January,” a source for the club told The Sun.

“We believe it’s a free if they go down. Although his wages are high it would be a good deal for us.

“We think he would love to finish his days at the club that groomed him. We will have a good look at him on April 15 when we are up there.”

Defoe has been a proven goal scoring throughout his career, with this season no different, as he has netted 14 goals in the league so far.

Sunderland have only bagged 24 this campaign, making the stats for the 34-year-old even more impressive. During his time at the club, he has a tally of 33 in 78 appearances – another impressive feat.