American Exports: Altidore completes move to AZ Alkmaar
AMSTERDAM — United States power forward Jozy Altidore has finally completed a move to Dutch side AZ Alkmaar from Villarreal, signing a four-year deal with the Kaasboeren on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old aced his medical in the afternoon after arriving on Tuesday in time to enjoy a 5-0 AZ preseason win over visiting AGOVV Apeldoorn.
Altidore had been watched by AZ technical director Earnie Stewart with a keen eye for quite a while now, and the former US star admitted to MLSsoccer.com last month that he was in advanced talks to land the young striker from Villarreal.
According to Dutch soccer magazine Voetbal International, the transfer deal ended up being quite complicated. AZ reportedly paid a little less than $1 million and get a portion of Altidore's salary paid by Villarreal for the next two seasons, and the Spaniards will also get a considerable percentage off any sale out of Alkmaar.
Altidore is slated to begin training under new boss Gertjan Verbeek on Thursday, AZ press officer Daan Schippers told MLSsoccer.com. The striker will be counted on to help replace the 21 league goals that departed in July with Graziano Pellè and Kolbeinn Sigthórsson.
The Cheese Farmers, who finished fourth in the Eredivisie last season, will begin their competitive schedule with a Europa league third-round qualifying tie opener at home to an opponent likely to be Czech side Jablonec on July 28. They kick off the new league campaign with a visit from PSV Eindhoven on August 7.