The former England international striker has scored eight Premier League goals for the embattled side this season and his manager has no intention of letting him go

West Ham have been linked with a move for Jermain Defoe but Sunderland boss David Moyes has no intention of selling the striker.

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The Black Cats are 18th in the Premier League, with Defoe integral to their hopes of survival. The former England international has scored eight top-flight goals this season, attracting interest from his former club as a result.

That follows up on the 34-year-old’s 15 league strikes last season, leaving Moyes keen to stress that he is completely against selling his main goal threat in January.

The Sunderland boss told reporters: “He’s priceless, isn’t he? There is not a price we could put on his head because he’s so important to us staying as a Premier League club.

“He’s scored us eight goals just now and, if he scores us another eight or 10 in the second half of the season, it will give us a great opportunity of staying up.

“We won’t sell him but we obviously can’t stop people talking about it and writing about it.”

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Moyes – who will take on his old club, Manchester United, on Boxing Day – has been frustrated by Sunderland’s lack of funds in the transfer market.

One player brought in was Victor Anichebe on a free transfer and he has provided attacking support to Defoe, scoring three goals in eight league games.

Moyes added of the Nigerian: “Victor’s form has been incredible. I don’t think you could put a value on what Victor’s worth at the moment for us, the way he has played. 

“I don’t know how much it would cost us to go out on the high street and try to buy a Victor Anichebe somewhere but it would be a lot of money.”