Transfer news: Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelson confirms 'top four' Premier League clubs were in for Jermain Defoe

The England striker today confirmed his switch to the MLS

Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen claims the Canadian club beat off competition from a number of “top-four” Barclays Premier League clubs before wining the battle to sign England striker Jermain Defoe.

The Major League Soccer outfit have completed a deal to sign the 31-year-old from Tottenham this morning with the Toronto Sun claiming Defoe "will be unveiled as TFC's newest Designated Player".

Former Spurs defender Nelsen has coached the franchise since last February and, as a former team-mate of Defoe's, he knows exactly what the prolific striker will bring to his ambitious team.

He had told Sky Sports News: "I think if you ask any Premier League club then they would take Jermain right now.

"I know Tottenham are getting offers from everywhere for his services at the moment, from top-four clubs in England as well."

"There's a lot of things in the air, there's nothing been done yet, he's not our player at the moment."

Defoe heads to the MLS following 15 and a half years in English football and nine with Tottenham, split across two spells which have yielded 142 goals.

That tally leaves him fifth among the club's all-time leading goalscorers.

"I know Jermain, I know his character and if we could get a player like Jermain then it would be absolutely incredible," Nelsen added.

Defoe had scored nine goals for Spurs this season, two in September 24's Premier League win over Aston Villa with the rest coming in the Europa League.

He also struggled to break into the starting line-up under coaches Andre Villas-Boas and his replacement Tim Sherwood, though, with Roberto Soldado and most recently Emmanuel Adebayor preferred.

PA

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