Toronto FC striker Jermain Defoe has emerged as a surprise target for Queens Park Rangers in the final hours of the summer transfer window, sources have told ESPN.
QPR boss Harry Redknapp signed Defoe during his spells as Tottenham and Portsmouth manager and now he is eyeing up a deal to bring him to Loftus Road following the departure of Loic Remy to Chelsea.
The firing of Toronto FC coach Ryan Nelsen and his backroom staff on Sunday has done little to quash the suggestion that Defoe is already looking to make a return to England's Premier League. The striker made the move to MLS five months ago.
Defoe has scored 11 goals for Toronto in his 16 appearances in the MLS since his move from Tottenham last January, but Nelsen's situation seems to have frustrated the 31-year-old former England national player, who was initially lured to Canada by the prospect of working with former Spurs teammate Nelsen.
Redknapp ruled out the prospect of signing Defoe earlier this summer in an interview with UK radio station talkSPORT, but his admiration for the player was evident in these comments.
"If he came permanently, if he said 'listen, I want to come back to England', I would be the first in the queue, but that's not going to happen."
It may be that Defoe's position has now changed, with widespread reports emerging that the striker is already in London and may be preparing to make an unexpectedly hasty return to his homeland to play again.
Canadian news outlet TSN are reporting that TFC's general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said, "We have received multiple offers for Jermain Defoe and we will make a decision on this in the next 24 hours, Jermain has over delivered on my expectations. We are in regular contact with QPR & we will figure out whats best for him."