SI.com is reporting that a high-ranking Toronto FC source has said Jermain Defoe’s impending transfer from Tottenham is “not done yet, but close.”
What we know so far is as follows.
After featuring in 34 Premier League matches last season, scoring 11 goals and notching three assists, Defoe has been relegated to a substitute role in 2013-14. Of his 12 league appearances, nine of them have a come as a substitute, and he has yet to hit the back of the net.
Those numbers have put the 31-year-old in line for a major transfer to MLS with reports confirming that Toronto has made a big money offer to Defoe as part of club president/CEO Tim Leiweke’s plan to bring a world star to the Canadian franchise.
Despite his poor league form Defoe has proven his quality in Spurs’ Europa League run, where he’s scored seven goals in just five matches, and their Capital One Cup efforts, where he’s scored three goals and added two assists in three matches.
The recent emergence of Emmanuel Adebayor has emerged as another barrier to Defoe’s success at White Hart Lane. Since the sacking of Andre-Villas-Boas, Adebayor has joined Roberto Soldado as Tim Sherwood’s strike-partnership of choice in his favored 4-4-2 formation.
The Togo international has performed well for the Lillywhites yet it remains to be seen what Sherwood would do if Adebayor or Soldado went down. Assuming Defoe is transferred to Toronto that would leave Spurs with only the two strikers, hardly the stockpile required to survive two cup runs and a domestic competition where the goal is to finish fourth. When Defoe’s move west does go down, look for Tottenham to snap up a new striker to provide cover.
For Toronto, the capture of Defoe would be a major coup for a club still searching for its first MLS playoff run. He will likely partner with Brazilian striker Gilberto, who Toronto signed as a Designated Player on December 13th.