Jonathan Obika
Obika will move to Brighton on loan.

Tottenham Hotspur appear likely to sign a striker in the January transfer window after allowing Jonathan Obika to join Brighton and Hove Albion on loan as Jermaine Defoe's departure to FC Toronto appears close to completion.

Defoe will reportedly fly to Canada over the weekend where he will put pen to paper on a permanent deal with the Major League Soccer side.

The England international could move back to White Hart lane on loan until 1 March, two weeks prior to the start of the MLS season, but this clause in the deal is still to be confirmed.

And with Defoe's potential return still up in the air Tottenham have risked having a shortage of forwards during the second half of the campaign after allowing the highly-rated Obika to leave on a 93-day loan to Championship side Brighton.

Given interim manager Tim Sherwood's knowledge of Tottenham's youth players from his days at technical co-ordinator, which saw him hand Nabil Bentaleb a debut appearances in his first league game in charge against Southampton, Obika could have been forgiven for thinking he was next in line for a full debut.

But his move to the south coast suggests that even should Defoe return until the start on March that Tottenham will enter the transfer market with the intention of adding to their thread-bare attack.

"Jonathan is someone we have been aware of for some time – because Nathan has worked closely with him in the past at Yeovil and Charlton," Brighton boss Oscar Garcia said. "It is known that we tried to bring him earlier in the season, but were not able to due to an injury, so we are pleased to have him here now."

The move to Albion represents the seventh club Obika has been loaned to in his career, with the 23 year old previously having played for Yeovil Town, Millwall, Crystal Palace, Peterborough United, Swindon Town and Charlton Athletic.

Both moves leaves Tottenham with just two permanent recognised strikers in Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado and Sherwood is likely to delve into the window in an effort to keep the club's Champions League qualification hopes alive.

Spurs do have Harry Kane in reserve but the 20-year old's dubious goalscoring record makes relying on him a gamble going into the sharp end of the season.