Toronto unsure of Defoe's future

Toronto coach Greg Vanney admitted he does not know where star striker Jermain Defoe will be playing in January.

Defoe was signed from Premier League outfit 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.

Vanney, who confirmed Defoe was close to a returning to Toronto, said he was 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 we got to go get next year, I predict," Leiweke said last week.

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