Jermain Defoe’s transfer request has been turned down by West Ham, with the club insisiting that they intend to hold on to most of their players, despite being relegated from the Premier League.

The England Under-21 striker submitted a written transfer request yesterday, less than 24 hours after the club’s relegation was confirmed.

Defoe has been linked to a summerswitch to Manchester United, but the club have infoirmed the promising striker that he is staying at Upton Park.

“I can confirm we are not accepting Jermain Defoe’s request to be put on the transfer list,’ Managing director Paul Aldridge told the club’s website.

“Jermain is a smashing lad from a good family, we have a good relationship with him and them, and it is unfortunate that he has received advice to put in a request at this time. I would caution our supporters to be patient with Jermain

“That advice has led to criticism from supporters and work colleagues alike.

“I can understand that given the timing, and added to the fact that a story linking him to another club was leaked to a newspaper on the morning of one of our most important games for years.

“We do not believe this situation would have arisen if he was still represented by the PFA, rather than the agency SFX to whom he has now moved.”

Aldridge claimed that West Ham hoped to “retain the bulk of our first team talent”.