Jermain Defoe has been spotted leaving a medical at Sunderland on Thursday, as the England international striker closes in on a move back to the Premier League.
[ RELATED: Altidore-Defoe swap is on ]
Fresh reports from sources close to the deal have told PST that Sunderland have in fact not paid out any cash to MLS or Toronto FC for Defoe and the deal is a swap for Jozy Altidore.
A report from the Sunderland Echo mirrors that sentiment, as Altidore’s awful 18-month spell on Wearside is almost over with the USMNT striker set to seal his move to Toronto in the coming days. It is unclear how much MLS are paying Sunderland in a transfer fee for Altidore.
Defoe’s capture is set to be confirmed by Sunderland on Friday, while Altidore still has to go through more paperwork before his transfer to TFC is rubber-stamped.
Only three teams in MLS have expressed interest in signing Altidore, with Toronto ahead of both the New York Red Bulls and Portland Timbers in the allocation order which determines where returning U.S. national team players will end up.
Altidore, 25, has scored just one Premier League goal for Sunderland since joining the Black Cats at the start of the 2013-14 season following his $13 million move from Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar.
So, the former New York Red Bulls striker is heading back to MLS, where his career started as a teenager, while Defoe will leave MLS after scoring 11 goals in 16 games for Toronto following a $9 million from Tottenham Hotspur in January 2014.
Who got the better end of the deal here? Toronto or Sunderland?