Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/USA Today Sports Images
By DAN KARELL
Caught in the wake of Ryan Nelsen’s dismissal from Toronto FC was news that Jermain Defoe could also be on his way out of town.
TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko admitted to the local media at a press conference that the team has received multiple offers over the year for Defoe, and said they would make a decision by the end of Monday. Now, fresh reports out of Britain state that both Queens Park Rangers and West Ham are leading the race to bring Defoe back to the English Premier League.
A report in Goal UK states that Newcastle and Sunderland are also interested in the English forward, while the Daily Telegraph reports that Defoe has been offered to Arsenal on a short-term basis as cover for Olivier Giroud, who is out until the start of 2015.
Defoe has multiple connections with QPR, including the fact that the club is in his hometown of London and its manager, Harry Redknapp, coached Defoe at Tottenham.
Bezbatchenko refused to comment at Sunday’s press conference on which clubs have submitted offers to sign Defoe.
Defoe, along with Michael Bradley, was the centerpiece of a complete overhaul at TFC in January following seven consecutive seasons mired in disappointment and failure. Though he’s struggled with groin injuries over the course of his debut MLS season, Defoe has hardly disappointed, scoring 11 goals and adding two assists in 16 games.
The 31-year-old is currently injured, likely through the end of September, but if he remains with TFC, he’d be crucial for their playoff hopes. Defoe and Bradley reportedly cost TFC and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment $100 million in combined transfer fees and total salary over the course of their contracts.
Defoe is currently earning a base salary of $6 million with TFC.
What do you think of this report? Do you see Defoe returning to England? What would this mean for MLS if he leaves?
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