AMSTERDAM – The heavily anticipated summer transfer saga of AZ Alkmaar is already in full swing, MLSsoccer.com has learned, with the likes of Lazio and Schalke in the race for his services.
Multiple sources across Europe have divulged that the pair are busy sizing up the US international, following a banner campaign, which saw him net 31 goals across all competitions, a place on the Eredivisie Team of the Season and the KNVB Cup winner.
MLSsoccer.com has learned that the Coppa Italia champs have Altidore's name on their new striker shortlist, while Champions League qualifiers Schalke have already started making calls about the American.
In addition, Altidore has drawn attention from no less than another five German clubs, one more in Italy, two from England, and one each from Russia and Ukraine. Meanwhile, his agent has rubbished recent newspaper stories out of Spain that claimed Aston Villa, Catania, Real Betis and Sevilla were in heavy talks for the AZ top gun.
"There's plenty of interest for Jozy," Altidore rep Lyle Yorks confirmed to MLSsoccer.com. "But there's nothing to this Spanish report."
Furthermore, MLSsoccer.com has learned through multiple sources that recent suitors such as Fiorentina, Fulham, Napoli, Sporting CP and Stuttgart are no longer hanging around the shop window. All of the current talk – factual or not – may be for naught because AZ technical director Earnie Stewart has gone on record as saying they plan to have Altidore back at AFAS-Stadion next season.