Chairman: We Want To Keep Jermain

Chairman Terence Brown is keen to point out that the club are looking to keep Jermain Defoe beyond next summer and hope he can be persuaded to sign a contract extension.

He is aware that an 'off-the-cuff' comment made at the AGM may have given the impression that he was resigned to losing his services before his current contract expires in 18 months' time.

He says:

"I would like to clarify my earlier comment regarding Jermain Defoe at the AGM on Monday as I would not like it to be misconstrued.

"While I referred to Jermain's state of mind, I would like to make it clear that I was referring to a time prior to Alan Pardew's arrival, in the aftermath of the bitter disappointment of relegation - a blow that Jermain felt as keenly as the rest of us.

"As Alan has said, and it is something with which I would concur, every time Jermain has stepped out for us he has worn his shirt with pride and never given less than total commitment to West Ham United.

"Alan has said both publicly and to myself in private that Jermain is fully focused, and has left me in no doubt that he has nothing but praise for him both on and off the field.

"Although he was perhaps badly advised in requesting a transfer the day after we were relegated that matter was dealt with to our mutual satisfaction and it has not had a detrimental effect on Jermain's professional relationship with the club.

"It is not a foregone conclusion that he will be leaving us and, while we know he is ambitious to return to the Premiership and play for England this summer, we believe and hope that those targets can be attained while he is at West Ham.

"Nothing would give us more pleasure than if he did sign a contract extension in the course of this season and that is something the club is actively seeking to encourage."