Paul Merson has transfer advice for Sunderland, only sell Defoe for £60m

Sunderland's Jermain Defoe

Sunderland must keep Jermain Defoe, says pundit.

Paul Merson has told SkySports that Sunderland should only consider selling striker Jermain Defoe if they get a bid upwards of £60 million. 

Defoe is Sunderland's top scorer and netted twice in the recent draw with Liverpool, but has been subject of transfer interest from West Ham.

SkySports reported at the weekend however that the Hammers had given up on their pursuit of Defoe, due to Sunderland's high valuation of the striker.

Sunderland's Jermain Defoe before the matchSunderland's Jermain Defoe 

However a potential sale of Dimitri Payet could increase West Ham's transfer funds, and see them revisit the striker.

Merson believes though that Sunderland should only let the veteran go for an absolutely staggering fee, and if they did, they would be giving up on Premier League survival.

He said: "Sunderland have to keep Jermain Defoe this month. Unless someone comes in with £60m - which they are not going to - then you can’t sell him. If you do then you might as well give everybody their season tickets back because you are basically saying ‘we are relegated’.

"He has to stay, if he doesn’t then they are writing it off."

Sunderland's Jermain DefoeSunderland's Jermain Defoe

The problem for Sunderland is that even with £60 million in the bank, they would struggle to convince a top class striker to join the club due to their current predicament, especially as a Defoe sale would show a lack of ambition.

Keeping Defoe and ensuring survival could net the Black Cats a similar amount in television revenue in any case, and sticking with the striker is a no-brainer.

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