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Leiweke asks for patience from TFC fans over final designated player signing

Tottenham's Jermain Defoe, right, controls the ball in front of Anzhi's goalkeeper Evgeni Pomazan during the Europa League group K soccer match between Anzhi Makhachkala and Tottenham Hotspur, at Saturn stadium in Ramenskoye, outside Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013.

Ivan Sekretarev/AP

One senses that Tim Leiweke hits the accelerator rather than the brake when he comes across a yellow light.

The Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment boss knows where he's going and usually can't wait to get there.

But Leiweke says everybody needs to slow down and wait when it comes to Toronto FC's final designated player signing — widely believed to be England and Spurs star striker Jermain Defoe.

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"I also see the stories about a certain player in England," Leiweke told The Canadian Press in an interview Wednesday. "Their (transfer) window doesn't open up until Jan. 1.

"And so everyone can speculate we're done. We couldn't be done if we wanted do. We can't sign, get deals and make deals binding until after the window opens up. So I think everyone needs to understand if they're waiting for an announcement tomorrow, it's not coming.

"So I'd ask patience in that everyone and our fans understand that there's a window here that have to play by if we're after a big fish. And that window is in January."

Of course despite that, Toronto could still have the deal done. Just not done officially.

England's Daily Mirror reported that TFC helped win Defoe over by having Canadian hip-hop star Drake, the Toronto Raptors' so-called "global ambassador," call him personally.

"As to Drake, I will admit he is helping us turn this organization around in all aspects — not just basketball, " said Leiweke. "And I do rely on him. And he has made some phone calls, involved some relationships for us on the soccer side as well. And I consider him to be the best ambassador this city has. And the best friend this organization has."

Drake did not get involved in Toronto FC's bid to lure former MLS MVP Dwayne De Rosario back into the fold, however.

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