By IVES GALARCEP
The start of July has signaled the unofficial start of the Jozy Altidore sweepstakes, with clubs from all over Europe lining up to pry the U.S. Men’s National Team forward away from Dutch side AZ.
Clubs from England, Germany and Italy have already expressed interest, with multiple reports identifying Sunderland as one of two Premier League clubs making a play for Altidore.
Lyle Yorks, Altidore’s agent, confirmed to SBI on Tuesday that there are two Premier League clubs in play, and that one is in advanced discussions with AZ. He would not identify the teams, though AZ’s Earnie Stewart has confirmed Sunderland as one of the teams.
A report from the Netherlands claims AZ has already rejected Sunderland’s initial offer.
Sources have confirmed to SBI that Hull City is not one of the Premier League teams in play for Altidore. The recently-promoted club had been though to be a potential destination due to Altidore’s previous stint there on loan in 2011, but Hull City is not one of the teams making a play for him now.
Fulham is a team that expressed interest in Altidore a year ago, but is not one of the Premier League teams making a play for him this summer, sources confirmed to SBI.
Yorks also confirmed to SBI that two top teams from Italy’s Serie A have expressed interest, with reports identifying Lazio as one of the clubs.
Sources have also told SBI that clubs from Russia, Turkey and the Ukraine made approaches for Altidore, but offers from those countries are not being seriously considered. Zenit St. Petersburg and Bursaspor are just two of the clubs from those countries to make inquiries.
AZ’s recent sale of star midfielder Adam Maher has eased the pressure on the club to sell Altidore, but the club is listening to all offers and an Altidore transfer is very much still a strong possibility. Sources tell SBI the process to determine Altidore’s future should be resolved in the next two weeks.
What do you think of these developments? Where would you like to see Altidore wind up? Hoping he stays at AZ for another season? What league do you see being the best fit for him?
Share your thoughts below.