West Ham legend expects Defoe to return

Tony Cottee believes Jermain Defoe will rejoin West Ham.

Striker Defoe, 34, is expected to leave Sunderland following their relegation from the Premier League.

West Ham were interested in signing him during the January transfer window and have been tipped to move for him this summer.

Defoe, who scored 29 Premier League goals for the Hammers before leaving to join Tottenham in 2004, is out of contract and available on a Bosman free transfer.

Bournemouth, where he was on loan during the 2000-01 season, have also expressed an interest, while a number of other clubs have been linked with him in recent months.

But former Hammers and England striker Cottee is convinced Defoe would much prefer a return to east London.

Speaking on Sky, Cottee said: “Yes, I think he will be,” when asked whether he thought Defoe will be a West Ham player against next season.

Cottee added: “I think that’s his preferred choice. Obviously it depends on the owners and the people running West Ham.”

The Newham-born Cottee, 51, scored a total of 117 league goals for the Irons during two spells at the club. He also played for and managed Barnet and had a brief spell at Millwall.

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