So much for those stories of Jermain Defoe
leaving Toronto FC. Monday's transfer deadline came and went in
England without an EPL team reaching a deal with the MLS club for the English international's transfer.
“Toronto FC received a record transfer offer for Jermain Defoe. I’m
here to tell everyone today that we can confirm that we have declined the offer,” TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko
said in a conference call on
Monday. “We wouldn’t be doing proper service to the club if we didn’t examine the offer and explore our options.”
The Toronto Sun reported
that three clubs made bids for the English international -- including $11 million from the Queens Park
Rangers. Outgoing MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke
told the Sun that bids were submitted for five TFC players.
Reports in the English press about Defoe's
dissatisfaction with the situation at TFC following the dismissal of head coach Ryan Nelsen
on Sunday stemmed in part because the forward was seen in London.
Defoe, who has 11 goals in 16 MLS games, happened to be there seeking a second opinion on his groin injury that has sidelined him.
“In the offseason, again, people will make offers,
they always do, and we’ll go through the same steps where we take in all the information at the time,” Bezbatchenko said. “So, as of now, yes, there’s no reason he
wouldn’t be with us [next year].”
Bezbatchenko, who named Greg Vanney
as Nelsen's replacement, admitted Defoe was frustrated with the
situation at Toronto FC, which now sits tied for third place in the Eastern Conference with three wins in its last 13 games.
“Moving forward, he understands why we made the
change,” Bezbatchenko added. “Jermain is a true professional. He shows a commitment to his teammates and he’s going to be back. That’s just the way it is.”
As for the future?
“In the offseason, again," Bezbatchenko said, "people will make offers, they always do, and we’ll go through the same steps where we take in all the
information at the time. So, as of now, yes, there’s no reason he wouldn’t be with us [next year].”