By DAN KARELL
Watch out MLS: Toronto FC is for real.
Tottenham confirmed in a press release that forward Jermain Defoe has completed a transfer to TFC, signing a four-year contract with the club in the multifaceted deal. Though no transfer fee was disclosed, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment are reportedly paying Tottenham a fee “in excess of $10 million.” TFC confirmed the deal later on Friday.
The same report in TSN.ca cites Defoe’s earnings at approximately $7.8 million per season, which would make him the highest earner in Major League Soccer. The 31-year-old will officially move to TFC on Feb. 28, two weeks prior to their first game of the 2014 MLS season at the Seattle Sounders. Defoe’s signing comes just one day after AS Roma confirmed that U.S. Men’s National Team starter Michael Bradley has completed a $10 million transfer to TFC.
“I am grateful for the opportunity for myself and my family to experience living overseas and for me to play in the MLS with a contract that will take me to the age of 35,” Defoe said in a statement on Tottenham’s website. “I have no doubt I shall be coming back as a fan supporting the team in the years to come too.”
In addition to the transfer, Tottenham and MLSE have signed a four-year advertising rights agreement, which includes “which includes promotional, branding, experiential activities, advertising, broadcasting, social media and digital rights” sharing across all of MLSE’s entities. MLSE will also sell official Tottenham merchandise at their retail stores.
A third piece of the deal is that the two clubs have agreed to set up a friendly match on July 23 at BMO Field. It will be the second of three games on Tottenham’s North American tour this summer.
What do you think of this news? Think that TFC is an instant MLS Cup contender? How many goals do you expect Defoe to score? What does this deal say about MLS as a whole?
Share your thoughts below.