Defoe says he won't be leaving Sunderland

Dec 30, 2016 - 7:30 PM Jermain Defoe has brushed off speculation that he could leave Sunderland next month amid interest from West Ham.

The 34-year-old's eight goals to date this season have once again kept the Black Cats in with a chance of escaping the drop from the Premier League, and his feat has not gone unnoticed elsewhere.

However, Defoe, who arrived on Wearside in a swap deal with Jozy Altidore almost two years ago, remains relaxed about the situation.

"There's going to be speculation because, let's be honest, the people that score goals are wanted," Defoe told Sky Sports.

"Over the years, anyone that has scored goals has been talked about in terms of moving to different clubs.

"I think it's just part and parcel. The players don't really get involved; you just get your head down and you play football.

"It's a good feeling to be wanted, but when you're playing well and scoring goals then you must be enjoying being at the place you're at."

Sunderland boss Moyes is convinced Sunderland can fire themselves out of relegation trouble if his players give Defoe a helping hand.

Until Fabio Borini struck at Manchester United on Boxing Day, only the former England striker, sidekick Victor Anichebe and fullback Patrick van Aanholt, as well as Leicester defender Robert Huth, had found the back of the net for them in the league this season.

Both Moyes and chief executive Martin Bain have signalled their intention to resist any attempt to lure Defoe away from the Stadium of Light next month.

However, if he does remain on Wearside, the former Hammers front-man will need support if the club is to retain its top-flight status.

The challenge facing Sunderland is being exacerbated by an horrendous injury list - keeper Jordan Pickford this week became the latest man to join the ranks for an extended period - and the financial restrictions which will severely limit Moyes' ability to re-shape his squad during the January transfer window.

However, while that may be viewed as a green light for potential buyers to target the likes of Pickford, Defoe and Lamine Kone, the Scot, who has been encouraged by conversations with owner Ellis Short that the situation may not be as bleak as was first thought, insists he has heard nothing and issued a warning.

"I've spoken with the owner and I think there's a chance that maybe we could try to do things if the right things turn up, so we can only look and see.

"And the other thing is, I have always been an expensive seller."

Source: AAP

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