American Exports: Dutch club AZ trying to sign Altidore

Jozy Altidore at the Gold Cup

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AMSTERDAM — Eredivisie outfit AZ Alkmaar are deep into the process of trying to land Villarreal striker Jozy Altidore on a transfer, MLSsoccer.com has learned.

Former US star Earnie Stewart, now technical director at AZ, confirmed that the Europa League entrants are in for the 21-year-old.

"We are in talks with Jozy," Stewart told MLSsoccer.com. "He's a good player and we have interest in him, but we'll have to see if it can work out. That can only happen if one of our strikers leave."

As it so happens, the Cheese Farmers are also currently in advanced negotiations with Ajax over AZ forward Kolbeinn Sigthórsson.

"The bid for Sigthórsson has been increased and both the parties have agreed," Ajax boss Frank de Boer told reporters over the weekend. "There are only small things left that need to be discussed."

Should Altidore end up heading to Alkmaar, he will play under manager Gertjan Verbeek, who was in charge at Heerenveen during Michael Bradley's stay there. The AZ boss had previously scouted Altidore while holding the reins at Feyenoord three seasons back.

Currently recovering from a hamstring injury suffered on Gold Cup duty, Altidore has netted three times in 22 games since arriving at Villarreal in 2008. During loan stints with Xerez, Hull City and Bursaspor, the striker tallied an additional three goals in 41 matches.

On Monday, Altidore posted a message on his Twitter account suggesting he needed to learn Dutch.

Two-time Eredivisie champs AZ finished fourth last season. They open the new league season with an August 7 visit from PSV Eindhoven and will enter Europa League play in the third qualifying round.


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