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CONFIRMED: Jermain Defoe will join MLS side Toronto

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Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe will join MLS side Toronto FC, with effect from February 28, 2014, the club has confirmed.

The 31-year-old striker has had a glittering career in English football and at Spurs especially. He first started his international career in February 2004 from West Ham, where he made 177 appearances and scored 64 goals. Following a brief spell at Portsmouth, he was re-signed again and has since made 185 appearances, scoring 78 goals.

This season, Defoe has only made 3 league starts and yet to score in the league so far. His future was speculated in the media with The Times reporting that QPR are trying an audacious attempt to sign Jermain Defoe on loan for two months.

Tottenham Hotspurs Jermai 008 CONFIRMED: Jermain Defoe will join MLS side Toronto

“Everybody knows how much this Club means to me and I will play my heart out for the team and the fans until my last kick for the Club.  I have had a fantastic time here and the fans have always been amazing to me,” said Defoe.

“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. I have no doubt I shall be coming back as a fan supporting the team in the years to come too.”

The transfer of Defoe to MLS will also see the North London club benefiting in commercial deals as well. The club confirms that it will mark the beginning of Advertising Rights Agreement with club owners Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. which includes promotional, branding, experiential activities, advertising, broadcasting, social media and digital rights across the 4-year agreement and at all MLSE properties and media sites.

Head Coach Tim Sherwood added: “This is a great opportunity for Jermain and he feels it is one that he wishes to pursue. He has played a big part in the Club for many years and we all know he will give his best until his last minute in a Spurs shirt.

“We have several attacking options within our squad for the remaining dozen or so games of the season after Jermain departs and we shall keep our options under review. We also have a goal threat from players in other areas of the pitch including having wide players and attacking midfielders who will enable us to vary our shape when required.”

The club can also announce that Spurs shall play Toronto FC in the second game of their 2014 summer pre-season schedule on July 23.

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