West Ham are convinced Jermain Defoe wants to rejoin the club from Sunderland next month, according to the Daily Mirror.
Former Hammers star Defoe, 34, has recently been linked with a return to east London and is one of a host of strikers Slaven Bilic has been linked with ahead of the January transfer window.
David Moyes has insisted that Defoe will not be sold, but the Mirror say the Sunderland manager faces a fight to keep the former England international.
The newspaper declares that Hammers boss Bilic is prepared to wait until the end of the transfer window to make a move for Defoe and that the Croatian has ‘refused to rule out’ doing so.
It comes after Bilic was asked about Defoe at a press conference and said: “He’s a very good player. Defoe is scoring goals and that is important.
“I have a few midfielders from different countries telling me his movement is the best of strikers they have played with. He’s someone else’s player so I don’t want to talk about it.”
Bilic has made no secret of the fact that he is keen to strengthen his squad when the window opens.
“You have the boxes you would like and you want the players to tick all the boxes; young, cheap, scoring goals,” he added.
“Unfortunately you can’t have players like that all the time as other clubs are looking for them. We are trying so many times.
“English and British players have priority as this is an English club.”