We are mere weeks away from Toronto FC players reporting for pre-season training camp. The question of who will be present and who will be elsewhere adds to the intrigue ahead of the new Major League Soccer season. With the January transfer window open and business to be done, the transfer rumour mill continues to churn, growing in name, scope and prominence in players involved. Through all the rumour and conjecture, all I can tell you is what I believe to be true and how the situation is playing out. If cards are played accordingly and all goes to plan, Toronto FC will replace Jermain Defoe with two European based players of quality. Nothing is set in stone. Much remains up in the air. The design is clear and the process remains fluid. Its common knowledge that all of Toronto FCs significant transfer dealings hinge on Defoe. Much work is being done behind the scenes to settle the issue and prepare for another significant play in the transfer market. As TSNs Luke Wileman reported Thursday, Toronto FC Head Coach Greg Vanney expects Defoe to return to Toronto for pre-season training January 17. His plane ticket is more likely to go unused or transferred into the name of another passenger. Defoe is currently training with his former club Tottenham Hotspur. This is absolutely by design. It keeps Defoe in the spotlight and on the radar of a number of Premier League teams interested in his services. Defoe is concerned with his personal and professional dealings in England, so not returning to Toronto remains the preferable option. Toronto FC remains diligent in working out a deal best for all parties. The right number and right deal has not been made for Defoe as of yet. However, Toronto FC has four or five legit Premier League suitors for Defoes services. The club is confident they can get a deal done on Toronto FCs terms before the transfer window closes at the end of the month. Interestingly enough, one of the interested clubs looking to add Defoe is Sunderland. The Black Cats have only scored 18 goals in 20 league games. Steven Fletcher leads all Sunderland strikers with a disappointing four-goal return. Defoe is a fit, and quite frankly, a need. Enter Sunderlands Jozy Altidore into the equation. Multiple outlets reported and Vanney acknowledged this week Toronto FC is among three MLS teams interested in the U.S. Mens National team and Sunderland striker. Altidore, 25, has failed to make his mark in the Premier League after a move from the Eredivisie in the summer of 2013. One goal in 42 games hardly does his quality justice. Still at a young age, powerful in physique and following in the footsteps of many other of his USMNT teammates, a move back to North American football makes absolute sense to resurrect his club career. Toronto FC has made a move for Altidore, and the American striker is said to be keen on joining Toronto. Michael Bradley remains a staunch advocate of the club and city, and his friendship with Altidore is an attraction, making Toronto his preferable MLS landing spot. Toronto FC are favourites for Altidore, and now its about getting a deal done. There is a match to be made between Toronto FC (Defoe) and Sunderland (Altidore). How and if the deal comes to be remains to be seen. Sunderland are believed to be keen on a swap, Defoe-for-Altidore and all that comes along with the players. A move as such isnt preferable for Toronto FC. Defoe is a more valuable commodity from a Premier League production perspective. Defoe is a proven goal scorer in Englands top flight - Altidore a disappointment at the top level. The pot would likely need to be sweetened for Toronto to agree to such a deal. A swap deal cannot entirely be ruled out, but other business incentives would have to be taken into consideration. For example, Toronto FC paid upwards of a $10 million transfer fee to bring Defoe to Toronto, but profited from other mutual business ventures with Tottenham, namely the summer friendly at BMO Field. The game was a money maker for Toronto FC. A like summer friendly with Sunderland wouldnt have the same cache, but is another chip to be considered with other business dealings. Defoe to Sunderland could very well end up happening. With multiple clubs calling for Defoe, Toronto FCs options are not limited. We sometimes believe Premier League clubs are flush with more cash than they actually have. Its a delicate process, so for the meantime, Toronto FC remain resolute, determined to get a deal preferable to what they are trying to achieve. There is confidence they will get what they want. It is not the goal of Toronto FC to merely sell Defoe and wash their hands clean. They are looking to build. They are looking to make an even bigger splash. This is the Tim Leiweke way. The outgoing CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is spear-heading the Defoe dealings and leading the recruitment/replacement process. A step-back, or even the status quo is not the aim. Further investment is the way. Bringing in another top level player and making another splash is the goal. Toronto FC is said to be very active in pursuing other significant names. Altidore is just one of them. The club has been linked to multiple big names over recent months. There seems to be some truth in a previous pursuit of Wesley Sneijder. Galatasaray are unwilling to part with the player, so that door closed quickly. This is the type of player Toronto FC covets to take the team to the next level. Reports out of Italy Friday go down a similar path. Toronto FC have been linked to Juventus striker Sebastian Giovinco. Such a move follows what I reported last week that Toronto FC wants to add more than just one piece (Altidore). Giovinco, 27, is out of favour at Juventus, having made only two Serie A starts on the season. Multiple European clubs are said to be seeking his services. None seem ready or willing to offer the kind of money Toronto FC is said to have on the table. Funny enough, Giovinco is also being linked to Tottenham, bringing the entire Toronto FC-Defoe-Tottenham relationship full circle. Giovinco would command a salary in the $7 million range. Can Leiweke convince the Board of Directors to invest this kind of money into the soccer property, on top of Bradley and potentially Altidores lucrative contracts? That remains to be seen. If Giovinco is intrigued by Toronto FCs audacious approach, which have reportedly caught the players attention, Leiweke will have the ultimate sell job to do to the MLSE Board of Directors to reach deeper into the coffers to bring in genuine talent. MLSE has already showed willingness to go above and beyond, with the expansion of BMO Field into a +30,000 seat facility opening further means and methods for club growth and profitability. The good news it seems Giovinco hasnt denied Toronto FCs advances. According to the report, Giovinco is intrigued by the North American adventure and seems keen to follow in the footsteps of countrymen Marco Di Vaio and Alessandro Nesta on an MLS journey. The fact the player is only 27, in his prime of his career, seeking out opportunity makes such a transfer even more spectacular, breaking away from the MLS trend of recruitment of big name players who are past their prime. Giovincos arrival would send shock waves across MLS - style and substance for a club dead-set on getting it right. A partnership with Altidore would be ideal, with Giovinco suited to play as a second striker or recess striker role. Make no mistake; Altidore and Giovinco are both realistic gets. How the negotiations, dealings, and roster shuffling plays out remain to be seen. Nothing is set in stone. But the process is moving fast. Its January 9 and MLS still doesnt have a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. That leaves Toronto FC, and all MLS teams attempting to build rosters through rules that may no longer be applicable. There is no clear consensus on where negotiations will end up and what the new landscape will look like. One possible amendment to the current structure is to add an additional Designated Player spot for teams willing to use. If a move to add a fourth designated player is tabled during CBA negotiations, MLSEs deep pockets would make supporting such an initiative a no-brainer. A handful of MLS teams with significant financial backing would likely follow suit. A fourth designated player spot would allow Toronto FC to move forward and acquire both Altidore and Giovinco immediately (pending the sale of Defoe). If no additional DP is agreed upon, Toronto FC would have to wait until July. Giovinco is out of contract in July and would be free to join at that time. Gilberto would be a casualty to the Italian strikers arrival. The Brazilian striker struggled in his first MLS season but comes with a more reasonable DP contract that has value in the marketplace. There are many ifs, ands or buts in all this. But wheres theres smoke, theres fire. Toronto FC is more ambitious than ever. Moving on from Defoe was never going to be an easy process. The process becomes much easier to tolerate with Altidore and potentially Giovinco as end reward, making for a dream end scenario for Toronto FC. Gareth Wheeler can be reached at: @WheelerTSN email@example.com Nike Shoes From China Outlet . The Redblacks host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (7-9) Friday night in their last home game of the year and as of Thursday afternoon, the team was anticipating a ninth consecutive sellout. You can watch all the action on TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, and TSN5 beginning at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt. Fake Nike Shoes From China . Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee? Green had bounced around the NBA when he wasnt playing overseas. The Pacers gave up on Plumlee after just one season. Now Green and Plumlee are key cogs in the Suns surprising breakout season. https://www.nikeshoeschina.us/. Last year, Matt Kuchar closed with a 4-under 68 to beat Kevin Chappell by two strokes for his second win of the 2013 season and sixth of his career. Wholesale Nike Shoes From China . -- The Minnesota Vikings have signed Jerome Simpson, the former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver recently convicted on a felony drug charge. Nike Shoes From China . Yahoo! Sports columnist Marc Spears says that the Boogie Smooth album may have been an elaborate April Fools prank.Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kerry, How does Alex Galchenyuk get called for tripping Carl Hagelin in the neutral zone in the second period? Where was the official watching this from? Looked like Hagelin took a dive over Galchenyuks foot! Martin,Peterborough, ON Martin: Carl Hagelin did not deliberately take a dive or embellish his fall in an attempt to draw a penalty as he picked up a loose puck on a turnover at the red line. Hagelin made a sweeping cut turn as he attempted to reverse his direction toward the Montreal zone and in doing so both of his skates made independent contact with the left skate blade of Alex Galchenyuk. Hagelins lose of balance, forward momentum and attempt to advance the puck as he was falling contributed to an impression some might hold that the Rangers player took a dive. In the eyes of one referee it was deemed a trip and resulted in a power play goal. Referee Dan OHalloran trailed the play out of the Montreal end zone on the players bench side after Andrei Markov flipped the puck into the neutral zone. When the skate contact between Hagelin and Galchenyuk occurred, OHalloran was approximately mid to three quarters toward the Habs blue line and looking directly into and through neutral zone player traffic. From this location the referee would not have been able to draw an angle on the play and erroneously determined that Galchenyuk had committed a tripping infraction. Hindsight is, as they say, 20/20 and you can be certain that the referee wishes he had not perceived the play as he did. This play demonstrates the magnitude and potential consequence that a penalty call can have on a game and possibly even a series. Hockey is an extremely fast paced game. We know that officials, players and coaches make mistakes. In an effort to minimize errors in judgment the official needs to find the very best location in advance to judge a play; to find that perfect "replay angle" in real time whenever humanly possible.dddddddddddd I have often referenced an officials positioning in answer to your questions. One aspect of officiating that I havent written about much (and probably more important than having your feet in the right place) is for the official to have his head in the right place to avoid overreacting or being fooled on a play. It is crucial that every official sustain a rock-solid level of concentration throughout the game; especially as he deals with self-imposed pressure and excessive amounts of pressure exerted upon him externally. We often hear broadcasters refer to a high level of "energy or intensity" that is displayed by a player or team. A referee observes the game as it is being played in the moment; but more importantly, he must "think" the game with an "intensity of focus and concentration" that doesnt allow for any distractions to adversely affect his judgment. The referees perception of a play becomes his reality. He must silence the crowd in his head by letting the noise pass through his ears as a meaningless background effect. The ref must also move on from confrontations with players and coaches to keep his mental awareness where it belongs. To accomplish this task, an internal running dialogue or play-by-play commentary can be implemented by the referee to remain focused. (I often implemented this procedure to intensify my focus and concentration.) An official that sustains a state of intense concentration is much less likely to overreact or misread a play. A referee that is dialed into the zone can better differentiate between legitimate fouls and allowable contact in all locations on the ice. Finally, there cant be any guess work at this time of the season. If a ref is not 100 per cent sure a foul was committed, he should never raise his arm. ' ' '