This report is sourced directly to Toronto FC's general manager (that's the North American version of Director of Football). Defoe's move has not been settled, but at the very least one of the three primary parties to the transfer thinks it will get done before the MLS season starts.
The Jermain Defoe transfer to MLS is looking like a real thing. The Toronto Sun—a tabloid, but not the worst tabloid—is reporting that Toronto FC expects to purchase the services of the Tottenham Hotspur striker for a price of about $10M Canadian, roughly £6m. The transfer is not yet confirmed, but TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has confirmed that he is trying to get the deal done before the MLS season starts this coming spring.
The Toronto Sun has learned Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe will join Toronto FC next season in what's sure to be the biggest off-season move MLS-wide -- both financially and tactically.
The Reds are believed to be dropping as much as $10 million on a transfer fee to secure the services of a player they'll pay upward of $150,000 per week, numbers that will make Defoe the highest-paid player in MLS history.
It's unclear whether the 31-year-old will join the Reds before next summer's World Cup, but TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko told the Sun last weekend he's working to have both DPs settled in Toronto before next season.
Obviously this report is written from the Toronto FC perspective, and we don't know what stumbling blocks might be there on the Tottenham side or with Defoe, but this looks like a strong, sourced report that transfer talks are really ongoing and really at an advanced stage.
I'm not entirely clear how I feel about this. I assume that the uncertainty over whether Defoe will be moved in the January window or over the summer reflects Spurs' interest in keeping our second-string striker. Certainly I would only be ok with a January transfer if Emmanuel Adebayor is ready to step in to first team football at a moment's notice, and further if Harry Kane is as well. If they are, £6m seems like a pretty good price for a 31-year-old striker. Any lost points in the league could easily be worth quite a bit more than £6m, though, so I hope Spurs have this one sized up correctly.
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