West Ham joint chairman David Gold has questioned the resale value of Jermain Defoe.
It has been suggested it would cost the Irons £15m to leave the Black Cats and that he may want a minimum two year contract to improve his 18 months at Sunderland.
This would leave no resale value at the end of his contract as it is likely to be the end of his footballing career.
Defoe is currently thought to be on £70,000 per week at Sunderland and would want on an increase on those terms to join West Ham.
Wages at £80,000 per week would cost the Hammers £8.3m over two years and together with the transfer fee it could reach a total investment over £23m to land the former Hammer.
One Hammers fan tweeted co-chairman David Gold: “I think £15m for Defoe would be a good buy. Yes he’s 34 but his goals could be priceless.”
Gold replied: “How much do you think you could sell Defoe for when he’s 36?”