Tottenham’s Defoe set for Toronto move

Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe is expected to leave the Premier League club this month and join Major League Soccer side Toronto FC, ESPN has reported.

The move will be confirmed early next week, the Toronto Sun newspaper claimed, with the England international to be one of the team’s Designated Players. The Designated Player rule was adopted by MLS in 2007 after the LA Galaxy signed David Beckham, and allows for each MLS team to sign players outside of the league’s salary cap.

Toronto FC have yet to confirm the transfer but are running an advertising campaign trumpeting a “big deal” that will be announced on Monday. The Canada-based club last year finished ninth in the Eastern Conference and are managed by Defoe’s former Tottenham teammate Ryan Nelson.

Defoe has spent a total of nine years at White Hart Lane across two spells, with a stop at Portsmouth in between. The England international has also played senior football for West Ham and, on loan, Bournemouth, but has struggled to get into the Spurs team this season.

Former Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas preferred new signing Roberto Soldado as a lone striker, while Villas-Boas’ replacement, Tim Sherwood, has plumped for a partnership of Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor. Defoe’s last Tottenham appearance was on December 22, playing the final few minutes of the 3-2 win over Southampton.

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