Jermain Defoe, Tottenham Hotspur, playing against West Ham, Oct 6, 2013
Action Sports/Andrew Couldridge

Rumor Central: Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe set to join Toronto FC?

Toronto FC supporters barely had time to celebrate Friday's arrival of Brazilian striker Gilberto.

Just hours after unveiling their first Designated Player signing under new GM Tim Bezbatchenko, the Toronto Sun is reporting on Saturday that the next DP may not be too far behind.

"The Toronto Sun has learned Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe will join Toronto FC next season in what's sure to be the biggest off-season move MLS-wide," wrote Toronto FC beat writer Kurt Larson.

WATCH: Get to know Gilberto

The report claims that the transfer fee could reach $10 million and that Defoe would become "the highest-paid player in MLS history."

Toronto FC, which has yet to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs in seven years of existence, declined to comment on the story when contacted by

The club's owners, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, have promised big moves this season. In October, MLSE chief executive Tim Leiweke vowed: "We'll make the playoffs next year. Write it down." And more recently, he is reported to have told an Ontario Chamber of Commerce gathering that the club would make "the biggest signing in MLS history."

Defoe, a member of England's national team which has qualified to play in the 2014 World Cup next summer, would become the club's third Designated Player after Argentine midfielder Matias Laba and Gilberto.

Bezbatchenko has already landed former FC Dallas winger Jackson, who will add speed, power and a steady attacking threat that the club sorely lacked in 2013 with just 30 goals scored in 34 matches -- the second lowest total in MLS.


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