Toronto FC president and CEO Tod Leiweke insists a deal is not already in place for Jermain Defoe to leave the club, despite speculation over a move to Queen’s Park Rangers.
The England striker moved to the MLS at the start of 2014 before being immediately loaned back to Tottenham Hotspur. He made his debut across the pond in March, but much has changed since his initial arrival in North America and speculation is rife that Harry Redknapp wants to team up with the player once again.
Ryan Nelsen, a former teammate, was removed as manager at BMO Field back in August, and much talk has followed over Defoe’s future in Canada.
However, Leiweke, speaking at the Leaders in Sport conference in London, insisted the player is committed to his current club’s playoff cause and has put all talk of a possible move away - to QPR or to whoever - to one side.
“Jermain got off to a great start but the injury came and we got frustrated. I think his head is in the right place right now, which is we have four games left and we need to win two, maybe three of those to make the playoffs,” said Leiweke.
“Jermain gets that and understands the uniqueness of the playoffs in Major League Soccer. That’s the defining moment for the success of our club.
“As to what happens in the next transfer window, we’ve all agreed to put it on hold and to talk about that in December. I complement him on being committed in trying to get us to the playoffs, and making sure that’s our only concern at TFC.”
Pushed further on whether there was a specific agreement already in place over his move away from the club, Leiweke insisted that was not the case and that Defoe’s sole focus was on pushing the club to the post-season.
However, he was happy to admit that a January exit is not impossible, and that anyone could move in the next transfer window.
“No (there is not deal),” he concluded when asked his final question on stage.
“Anyone could leave, welcome to the world of soccer.”
QPR have made a poor start to the season on return to the Premier League, and sit at the bottom of the table after seven games, with just one win to their name.
Redknapp's striker problem
Goals have been a problem for the Hoops at Loftus Road, and Defoe has a track record in the English top flight that Redknapp is well aware of from their time together with Spurs and Portsmouth.
And, if he wants his man once again, then QPR will need to come to the table in December for a player who cost Toronto £6million less than a year ago.