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Toronto FC mulling transfer offers for star striker Jermain Defoe
AUGUST 31, 2014
USA Today Sports
TORONTO – Toronto FC fans were rocked by major news on Sunday, when head coach Ryan Nelsen was let go and replaced by Greg Vanney, the club’s assistant GM and academy director.
But even bigger news could come soon, as TFC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko revealed that star striker Jermain Defoe has multiple offers from clubs in England. According to a report by Sportsnet’s John Molinaro, an $11 million offer has come from newly promoted EPL side Queens Park Rangers.
READ: Nelsen is out, Vanney in at TFC
“We receive offers for players all the time, especially a player like Jermain,” Bezbatchenko told reporters at the coaching-change news conference on Sunday. “We have received an offer and have discussed it internally. When you score as many goals as he has and you have the reputation and the background that he has, it’s not uncommon to receive these offers. We received multiple offers, actually, over the course of this year so I want to confirm that we are in talks. We’re speaking with him and we’ll make a decision.”
That decision will have to come quickly, though. The summer transfer window closes Monday at 5 pm ET.
“I think everyone here is educated in the world of football and how quickly it moves,” Bezbatchenko said. “You receive offers, but it doesn’t mean that they’re leaving. We’ve received multiple offers for players on our team. I don’t know how many players have come into MLS this year and departed in the same year already, but I’m sure there’s a few. So this is not uncommon.”
Bezbatchenko quickly added: “Not to say that he’s departing.”
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Defoe is currently in the UK, according to Bezbatchenko, getting a second opinion on his injury, a sports hernia, which is due to keep him out of action through the end of September.
So with less than 24 hours until the transfer deadline, what will happen with Defoe is anyone’s guess at this point.
“I believe he’s going to stay,” Bezbatchenko said, “but there’s still time between now and the end of the transfer window. I don’t think he wants to leave. There’s some change in the club and he’s dealing with an injury, and as a player, you can go in different ways in your rehab.”
“As far as I’m concerned,” he added, “Jermain Defoe is with TFC.”