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Toronto FC agree to swap Jermain Defoe for Jozy Altidore in deal with Sunderland

Toronto FC are making a major change to their strikeforce ahead of the 2015 season by swapping Jermain Defoe for Sunderland and US Men’s National Team striker Jozy Altidore.

The deal has been agreed between both clubs, as reported by TSN‘s Gareth Wheeler, and Toronto will receive Altidore plus allocation money as part of the deal if things go to plan.

However, there is some confusion surrounding the deal regarding Altidore as he can only move to MLS as part of the Allocation Ranking system.

The 25-year-old is a USMNT player who has played abroad and also played for the New York Red Bulls between 2006-2008 so he should be going through allocation order to decide which club he joins.

However, the league’s rules state “Designated Players of a certain threshold – as determined by the League – are not subject to allocation ranking,” – as was the case with Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley who respectively joined Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC last year.

That could mean that if Altidore joins on a big enough salary, which he will demand, then Toronto may get the player without too many problems.

They currently sit sixth in the allocation order, and would need to trade with Montreal Impact, who are number one, in order to sign Altidore through the system.

Jermain Defoe’s departure is a lot more straightforward and the Englishman is returning to the Premier League with Sunderland after just 11 months in MLS for a fee believed to be around $11 million.

The deal is being called a swap deal, but in fact it is two separate transactions as Defoe is going to Sunderland, and Altidore is coming to MLS but not certainly with Toronto FC.

The former Spurs striker has reportedly signed a three-and-a-half year contract with Sunderland worth £80,000 per week.

With Defoe gone, Toronto will want the deal to acquire Altidore to be sorted out sooner rather than later, and interest from the Red Bulls will leave some fans concerned they won’t get the USMNT star.

But the Reds are higher than his former club in the allocation order and should therefore be able to get a deal confirmed before the end of the day.

What do you make of the deal to sell Defoe to Sunderland? Will Jozy Altidore be a good fit for Toronto?

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About Louis East (1161 Articles)
Editor of MLSGB.com. Premier League and MLS reporter.

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