Toronto unsure of Defoe's future

The MLS club's new coach Greg Vanney admits he still needs to hold talks with the 31-year-old over his long-term future as speculation continues to mount
Toronto coach Greg Vanney admitted he does not know where star striker Jermain Defoe will be playing in January.

Defoe was signed from Tottenham in February, penning a four-year deal to be Toronto's designated player for the next four MLS seasons.

However, the England international was linked with a return to the Premier League before the transfer window shut following Ryan Nelsen's sacking last month.

Talk of a move back to England has refused to subside, especially with Defoe spending almost a month in his homeland nursing a groin injury.

And Vanney, who confirmed Defoe was close to a returning to Toronto to continue his recovery, admits he is unsure of the 31-year-old's future beyond January, when the transfer window reopens.

"In terms of Jermain in January, I don't know," Vanney told reporters.

"Maybe he comes back and he finds out that he really likes what's going on and the direction and he changes his mind. I have no idea where his mind's at, to be honest.

"I haven't had a sit-down, long conversation with him about things."

Vanney's comments come after Toronto CEO Tim Leiweke said Defoe will not be with the club next season during a talk at Ryerson University last week.

"We will have some new DPs [designated players] we got to go get next year, I predict," Leiweke revealed.

"I personally don't think Defoe will come back. I think if he doesn't want to be here, you get rid of him."
 
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