Defoe dumps Spurs for Toronto
09 January 2014, 10:21
Toronto - England striker Jermain Defoe will leave Tottenham Hotspur and join Major League Soccer's Toronto FC, according to Canadian media reports on Wednesday.
The stunning move would see 31-year-old Defoe introduced in Toronto on Monday before rejoining Spurs until March 1, when he would officially become part of the North American side just two weeks before its season opener at Seattle, according to the Toronto Star.
Toronto FC has released a series of short promotional videos with the catchphrase "It's a bloody big deal" with Monday's date.
Canada's TSN Sports network reported that Defoe was expected in Canada this weekend to complete the deal for an MLS record transfer fee above $10 million and a salary of about $150 000 a week.
The deal might even be bigger than just Defoe as other media outlets say Toronto is in final talks to also obtain Roma midfielder Michael Bradley, a US international player who might also be unveiled on Monday if the deal is completed.
Bradley, according to the Star, would take a rest before the MLS season begins.
The two together might combine for a $100 million blockbuster deal in a league where teams typically operate with a $3 million salary cap except for designated players such as Defoe would be deemed.
Forbes magazine only valued the entire Toronto FC team at $120 million.
While Toronto has enjoyed a strong following of supporters, the team has yet to reach the MLS playoffs.
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Tim Leiweke was the man who signed David Beckham for the Los Angeles Galaxy when he worked with the Anschutz Entertainment Group.
Defoe's signing would bring some of the same spark to the North American league that Beckham's did when he joined the Galaxy, although not nearly as much star power as Beckham enjoyed beyond the football world.