A text message sent from Jermain Defoe to then Toronto FC manager Ryan Nelsen on the eve of the summer transfer window's closure has been revealed, showing just how serious the England international was (and likely still is) to leave the MLS franchise he joined in January 2013.
With Nelsen - the man who convinced Defoe to leave the English Premier League in favor of a move to North America - on the brink of losing his job on August 30 he had contacted the former Spurs striker to warn him of the news.
And now Toronto's The Globe and Mail newspaper have revealed just what Defoe said in reply:
"If you're gone, I'm gone."
A simple and succinct message but one that all but confirms the fact that Defoe will not remain a Toronto FC player for too much longer.
Nelsen was indeed dismissed August 31st with Defoe himself the subject of transfer interest from a number of EPL sides including his former employers Tottenham Hotspur.
Queens Park Rangers, led by one of his former managers Harry Redknapp, came closest to giving Defoe a way out though only to see an MLS record $11 million bid turned down at the final hour.
This revelation however will give them hope that a return in January will prove more fruitful with the player seemingly disheartened with recent events.
The future certainly looks bleak for Defoe and Toronto, an outcome that seemed unlikely just a few months ago.
Despite suffering a number of injuries the England international has scored an impressive 11 goals in 16 games for Toronto and looked to have acclimatised very well to life in MLS.
But the Canadian franchise have undergone some pretty dramatic changes in recent weeks, with President Tim Leiweke on his way out and Ryan Nelson ousted from his post due to a perceived lack of success.
And just this week Leiweke stoked the underlying tension by stating publicly that Jermain Defoe should leave if that is what he wished, before comparing him unfavorably to former England teammate David Beckham.
With the MLS season heading for its postseason Toronto still have work to do on the field, with or without Jermain Defoe. As for the striker he is most likely counting down the days until the New Year when the January transfer window once again reopens for European clubs.
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