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Defoe signs for Toronto

10 January 2014 10:12

Jermain Defoe has agreed to join Toronto from Tottenham, with the deal set to start from February 28.

The England international striker has ended months of speculation linking him with the MLS side in a move that sees a reunion with Toronto head coach and former Tottenham team-mate Ryan Nelson.

The exact terms of Defoe's contract at Toronto have yet to be disclosed, although the forward has hinted it will be a four-year deal.

Defoe has been utilised mainly as a substitute this season, starting just three of Tottenham's 20 Premier League fixtures, although he scored seven goals in five UEFA Europa League appearances.

The former West Ham forward has now vowed to give his all for Tottenham before he heads to Canada next month.

"Everybody knows how much this club means to me," he said. "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.

"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."

Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood added: "This is a great opportunity for Jermain and he feels it is one that he wishes to pursue.

"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."

Defoe - who has scored 142 goals in 362 appearances over two spells at the club – should still be available for seven Premier League fixtures, as well as potentially participating in the Europa League tie with Dnipro.

The 31-year-old is looking for regular first-team football in order to force his way into the England squad for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil later this year.

The transfer also sees the start of an advertising rights agreement between Tottenham and Toronto owners Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd, while Defoe is set for a swift reunion with his team-mates with the two clubs set to meet in a friendly on July 23 during Tottenham's pre-season schedule.

The Defoe deal marks the second marquee signing for Toronto in as many days, with Serie A club Roma confirming midfielder Michael Bradley had completed a $10million move on Thursday.

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