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By ESPN Staff

Jermain Defoe unlikely to return for Toronto FC, Tim Leiweke says

Toronto FC are ready to offload Jermain Defoe after indicating that the player no longer wants to play for the club.

Defoe, 31, left Tottenham earlier this year but Tim Leiweke -- the president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the club -- has suggested the striker is eager to make a swift return to the Premier League.

After Defoe's former Spurs teammate Ryan Nelsen was dismissed at the end of last month, Queens Park Rangers made an unsuccessful attempt to sign the player before the transfer deadline, but it appears he will not resume his MLS career.

The striker is expected to be available later this month following a groin injury and Toronto had previously said he was expected to return to the club to continue his rehabilitation next week.

However, The Canadian Press reported Leiweke as telling Ryerson students at the Ted Rogers School of Management: "I personally don't think Defoe will come back. I think if he doesn't want to be here, you get rid of him.

"My attitude [is] if you want to be here and you want to buy into what we're doing, let's go. Roll up your sleeves and we'll fight together, and I will be there with you every day.

"If you don't want to be here, get the hell out of our way."

Leiweke, who said he would bring in new designated players next year, claimed only U.S. international and new coach Greg Vanney had shown the stomach for the fight during recent difficulties, with Toronto now having lost three games in succession.

"The only two guys in our locker-room that are looking around and going 'We ain't going down unless we go down fighting' are Michael Bradley and Greg Vanney," he said. "We have work to do there. We're not done by any means.

"I pray that we make it to the playoffs this year because you all deserve it, but I think we still have some hard decisions and hard work to do."


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