If we lived in the world of Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" the phrase don't panic would be engrained in our minds. Sadly, in our world panicking is part of the normal routine and a report from Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl could just be causing some serious panic among Toronto FC fans.
According to Wahl a high ranking Toronto source has told SI.com that the deal that would see Jermain Defoe move from Tottenham Hotspur to Toronto FC is "not done yet, but close". With that one short quote the report will certainly raise the alarm bells among TFC fans who have been hesitant to get too excited about the deal for fear that it winds up going the same way as Diego Forlan did during the summer.
It does seem that TFC are still the front runner to land Defoe's signature but the growing interest in the player from clubs in England could cause some changes to the original plan. The ideal was for Defoe to sign with TFC during the January window before being loaned back to Spurs until March to allow him to keep playing right up until the start of the MLS season when he would join TFC. The forward would then play for TFC until hopefully making the England World Cup squad and missing time to represent the three lions in Brazil. That was the goal but with the likes of West Ham, Hull, and QPR all seeming interested in Defoe it could change the plans.
It seems likely that Defoe will do what he thinks is the best for his chances of making the World Cup. That could include signing for Toronto FC and then having the club loan him to someone in England for the remainder of the season. If, for example, he could get regular playing time for West Ham the rest of the campaign it would be the best case scenario for his hopes of getting a ticket to Brazil.
In that second scenario is it still means that Defoe will wind up a Toronto FC player in 2014 but his arrival would be delayed until after the World Cup which would not be ideal for the club. They do have what is shaping up to be a competitive roster in 2014 though so it might not be the end of the World to delay his arrival if it could ensure that he signs for the club.
The simple fact is that not even a Premier League team staring relegation in the face is going to have the same kind of money to spend on a player like Defoe as Toronto FC are reportedly offering. The numbers that have been suggested are staggering and if they are accurate it would be quite difficult to see Tottenham or Defoe turing down the move in the long run.
Wahl suggesting that the deal is not done yet is nothing new as until it is confirmed by all parties involved their is going to be some room for it to all go wrong. There were some reports from England that suggested the move could be made official as early as this week but that date now seems unlikely as the final details, including where Defoe will play until the World Cup, need to be sorted out.
Feel free to panic if you wish but at this point the report from Wahl seems to change very little. We are all still waiting to see if this deal can officially cross the finish line and if it does that is when we will get more details about just when we can hope to see Defoe at BMO Field.