Jermain Defoe
Defoe will leave Tottenham at the end of February.

Tottenham Hotspur's Jermain Defoe has agreed a deal to join FC Toronto on 28 February, the north London club have confirmed.

The England international has been out of favour at Spurs this season, making just three starts in the Premier League this season with Andre Villas-Boas and current interim manager Tim Sherwood preferring Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor in attack.

And Defoe has ended his association with Tottenham after two spells by moving to Major League Soccer to help strengthen his claim to be included in Roy Hodgson's England squad for the World Cup in Brazil.

"Everybody knows how much this Club means to me and I will play my heart out for the team and the fans until my last kick for the Club. I have had a fantastic time here and the fans have always been amazing to me," said Defoe.

"I am grateful for the opportunity for myself and my family to experience living overseas and for me to play in the MLS with a contract that will take me to the age of 35. I have no doubt I shall be coming back as a fan supporting the team in the years to come too."

Interim boss Sherwood added: "This is a great opportunity for Jermain and he feels it is one that he wishes to pursue. He has played a big part in the Club for many years and we all know he will give his best until his last minute in a Spurs shirt.

"We have several attacking options within our squad for the remaining dozen or so games of the season after Jermain departs and we shall keep our options under review.

"We also have a goal threat from players in other areas of the pitch including having wide players and attacking midfielders who will enable us to vary our shape when required."

Defoe has netted 142 career goals for Spurs across two spells at the club and lies fifth in the club's all-time leading goal scorers. Earlier this season he eclipsed Martin Chivers as their highest scorer in European competition.

He will be available for the next nine games before departing to Toronto to help reignite Tottenham's Champions League qualification challenge.

The deal also includes a pre-season fixture between the two clubs in July while Tottenham have also reached an agreement with Toronto's sister company Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment regarding advertising and marketing rights.

Defoe links up with former Tottenham defender Ryan Nelsen, now coach at Toronto, who prior to the move being agreed had suggested the club faced competition from rival Premier League clubs for the 31 year old's signature.

"I think if you ask any Premier League club, then they would take Jermain right now. I know Tottenham are getting offers everywhere for him - for his services at the moment - and from top-four clubs in England at the moment as well.

"I know Jermain, I know his ability, I know his character so if we could get a player like Jermain that would be absolutely incredible.

"But there are a lot of things in the air - there is nothing that has been done yet. He is not our player at the moment.

"We are working really hard and all I can say is if a quality player like Jermain Defoe graces the MLS, it will be an amazing coup for the league."