Source: Jermain Defoe to Toronto FC ‘not done yet, but close’
A January transfer that would bring Tottenham forward Jermain Defoe to Toronto FC is “not done yet, but close,” a high-ranking Toronto source tells SI.com.
The English international has received a lucrative offer from Toronto in the club’s efforts to make a big splash courtesy of Tim Leiweke, the president of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (aka the Man who Landed David Beckham for the Los Angeles Galaxy).
Defoe, 31, has played his entire club career in England and was part of England’s squad during the entirety of World Cup 2014 qualifying, playing in four qualifiers. But he has been mostly out of favor this season at Spurs. He has made just three starts in league play, failing to register a goal. He’s done his damage in cup competitions, scoring seven goals in five UEFA Europa League matches and two more in three League Cup games.
It is Defoe’s desire to be part of England’s World Cup squad that has his January transfer destination still up in the air. Will England manager Roy Hodgson consider taking Defoe if he is playing in MLS? And might Defoe increase his World Cup chances by making a move to, say, West Ham, which reportedly has interest in him as well?
Toronto has been pushing hard for Defoe as the club tries to end seven years of futility and qualify for the MLS playoffs for the first time. It has already added Brazilian forward Gilberto as a Designated Player and had been eyeing Italian and Genoa forward Alberto Gilardino as well.