Kevin Nolan offers his advice to Jermain Defoe over West Ham move

Sunderland's Jermain Defoe applauds fans after the game

Former West Ham United captain Kevin Nolan has offered some advice to Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe over a potential return to East London.

Defoe, who started his career with the Hammers, has become a talismanic figure for the Black Cats who look set for another season-long battle against relegation.

The former Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth forward divides opinion among West Ham fans, none of whom doubt his quality but plenty who have never forgiven him for forcing through a move to bitter rivals Spurs following the club's relegation back in 2003.

West Ham have been regularly linked with a move for Defoe and given West Ham's woes in front of goal this season most would welcome him back with open arms.

Sunderland's Jermain Defoe celebrates scoring their second goalSunderland's Jermain Defoe celebrates

On Friday Defoe told Sky Sports it was 'nice to be wanted' while Hammers boss Slaven Bilic did not hide his admiration for the player ahead of the January transfer window.

Speaking on talkSPORT, former Hammers skipper Kevin Nolan - who also captained Sunderland's arch rivals Newcastle United - has offered Defoe some advice ahead of a potential move.

"He's a top player and you can see why people want him because he scores goals, and no matter where he's been or what he's done whether it's in a struggling side or a good side, he scores goals," Nolan told talkSPORT.

Kevin Nolan - West Ham UnitedKevin Nolan

"If West Ham come for me then I'm going to West Ham," Nolan said when asked what he would do if he was Defoe.

And the ex Leyton Orient player-boss, who played under Bilic briefly last season, does not think the previous acrimonious relationship between the striker and Hammers fans would be a problem, adding: "I think if Defoe goes to West Ham, it's only a positive move for West Ham."

West Ham would have received some encouragement from news that the Black Cats are cash-strapped.

Martin Bain, Sunderland's chief executive, recently acknowledged that Moyes would have “very limited” funds in January as Ellis Short, the much-maligned owner, attempts to reduce a £140m debt while keeping his £73m wage bill within Premier League remuneration cap rules.

Adding further fuel to the fire last week Hammers co-owner David Sullivan told his club's official website that he is determined to sign some 'quality reinforcements'.

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