Transfer news

Defoe close to Toronto move - reports

November 27, 2013
By ESPN staff

Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe will sign for Toronto FC if he gains the approval of England manager Roy Hodgson, according to reports.

Jermain Defoe, Roy Hodgson
PA PhotosJermain Defoe, who has scored 19 goals in 55 appearances for England, is said to be ready to move if it does not affect his World Cup hopes.

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Defoe, 31, has been unable to secure regular first-team football under Andre Villas-Boas and, although he recently played down talk of a move, he is now said to be eager to leave White Hart Lane.

He is reported to have attracted interest from former club West Ham, Sunderland, Hull and Queens Park Rangers but appears to prefer a move to Canada, although The Sun believes he would only join Toronto if Hodgson assured him it would not jeopardise his hopes of making the World Cup squad.

The Daily Mirror, meanwhile, claims Defoe already agreed a four-year contract worth 90,000 pounds ($147,000) a week with Toronto and is set to make the move for six million pounds ($10 million), but he is eager to delay the switch until just before the start of the 2014 Major League Soccer season in March.

The Times also claims terms on a four-year deal have been agreed -- although the figure given is 68,000 pounds ($111,000) a week -- but says Spurs would be keen to retain him until the end of the season.

Toronto coach Ryan Nelsen, who played alongside Defoe at Spurs in 2012, spoke of his admiration for the forward last month.

He told TSN: “To get a guy like Defoe for MLS, I cannot think of many that are more suited. Him playing in Toronto would be phenomenal. He is one of the most natural goal-scorers I have ever come across and would complement a league like ours.”

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