Rubin Kazan among teams that bid for Altidore last summer

By IVES GALARCEP

As Jozy Altidore’s second impressive season in the Netherlands has scouts taking notice from all across Europe, it is becoming more clear just which teams already tried prying him away from AZ Alkmaar last summer.

Russian powerhouse Rubin Kazan and Portuguese side Sporting CP both made bids for Altidore this past summer, while Serie A side Fiorentina also expressed serious interest, sources told SBI on Friday. The bids, believed to be in the $6 million-$8 million range, weren’t enough to get AZ to pull the trigger, though AZ sporting director Earnie Stewart also pointed to the timing of one of the bids as being too late to allow the team to secure a replacement.

Altidore is off to another outstanding season for AZ, having scored 12 goals in all competitions with the season not even half over yet. With several top clubs scouting AZ regularly, Altidore has turned heads with his goal-scoring exploits and is expected to be the subject of more transfer bids this winter, and certainly next summer, when he could be set for a major transfer.

What do you think of these developments? Where would you like to see Altidore wind up? How many goals do you see him scoring for AZ this season? See him getting things rolling for the U.S. national team in 2013?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, Featured, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

89 Responses to Rubin Kazan among teams that bid for Altidore last summer

  1. Dimidri says:

    Sporting would be an interesting team for him to play on. Would be great if he could have helped them get over the hump and finally win the portuguese title.

  2. Jake says:

    Why would he want to go to the Russian or Portuguese league?

  3. Petaluman says:

    Stay with AZ at least until next summer.

    • Eric W says:

      Yeah, I agree. Clearly the stability has been really good for Jozy. He’s young! I can’t even imagine what it would be like to jump from team to team, country to country, at that age and still perform at one’s highest level.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I think AZ is a good fit for his talents and he’s finally settled in and been productive some place after the whole horrid post-RB sequence of Villareal, Hull, Xerex, Bursaspor. There are a lot of players like Freddy and Gale A. who’ve still not found their feet after heading off to Europe. At AZ he also has Stewart around where Americans are probably appreciated.

      However (a) he may have bigger ambitions and/or (b) AZ may be looking to sell. I certainly found it interesting that AZ was talking about people looking at him last window. Is he in the shop window? In which case all this talk about stability goes out the window. Personally I think a transfer would be ill-considered in light of him finally producing someplace since NY, but we’ll see what happens.

    • TomG says:

      Yes, stay until a top 4 league comes calling (though I would probably also pull the trigger for a French team as well).

    • Darwin says:

      Obviously, Jozy should fire his agent and just read the SBI board for his career decisions.

  4. Matador says:

    Meh !!! It seems like a gamble for clubs to pay lots of $$ for a player who is YET to replicate his club form to the international level. Sure he is developing but when it comes performing for the National team he is not up to the task. The striker’s job is to score, period. Has he done that with consistency with the US shirt?

    • Spencer says:

      What about those who excel on the national team and don’t do well with clubs?

      • Ceez says:

        Those players get called up to the national team?

        • Dinho says:

          Agudelo.

          • Ceez says:

            He had already been doing well with the Red Bulls when he was first called in, so he already had history with the national team before being called back recently. His most recent call-up wasn’t his first.

            Players go through slumps but players who don’t do well with their clubs, period, don’t get called up.

        • Wes says:

          Jozy led the US in goals last cycle….

          Clubs care a LOT more about club performance than national team performance.

          Jozy is the best US forward right now and far and away the best prospect for the USMNT.

          • Vic says:

            What cycle? He hasn’t scored any goals this year for USMNT.

            • Tyler Kitchens says:

              Last World Cup cycle broham, the voyage to South Africa.

              • Harkes' Balls says:

                Right? Sometimes it’s like people only started watching the USMNT this week.

                Jozy did just fine for the US when he played on a team that (1) had a plan for the midfield and (2) didn’t have 3 DMs on the pitch. This “he isn’t up to the task on the INTL level” is beyond being just wrong; it’s like Donald Trump level stupid.

                Some peeps are legit Jozy USMNT Birthers right now.

                He’s the best striker in the pool. Play him & Boyd/Gomez/etc in front of a midfield without 3 DMs once in a while, and we’d see this.

        • Good Jeremy says:

          Klose.

    • Eric says:

      Pretty sure they couldn’t care less how he does in a US shirt. All they care about is whether or not he performs at a club level. If he can score goals for them in Europe and in their domestic leagues, then those teams won’t care about if he scores for the US. That’s not their concern.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      It’s a wonder Barcelona ever gave Messi a shot w/ his lukewarm International showing in the past. Now that he’s starting to shine for the Albiceleste, it’s only a matter of time before a bigger club comes knocking.

      • Naked Animals says:

        Manchester United perhaps?

      • Eurosnob says:

        Actually, Barca brought him to la Masia when he was around 14, i.e., too early for any talk about his international performance. However, I will point out that Messi had success with Argentina as a young player. He won the U20 World Cup in 2005 (and player of the tournament and top goal scorer titles) and the Olympic gold medal in 2008. He was also a runner up in 2007 Copa America (and won the young player of the tournament award).

        • BigDogg says:

          I dont think you got the joke, but thats alright. Additionally, would you not agree that Jozy performed quite well with the US team as a young player? After all, he was our unquestioned top striker at a World Cup as a 20 year old.

          • Scott says:

            Haha I got the joke. Teams do not care how their players fare for their respective national teams. Actually, they would probably prefer that they dont get called up so that their risk of injury is lower.

            If i were Jozy i wouldn’t move until a seriously big club comes along and offers him significant money and opportunity. A move to SCP is lateral, and the Portuguese league is not better than the Dutch league. Ajax is greater than Benfica (ask City).

            Jozy, Liverpool is a club who needs goals, be a Red!

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      This is a strange comment, to say the least. So, his club success, where he is used in a way that syits his talents, should count for less than his performance for his National side where he is asked to be a hold-up, target forward (which his not), who depends on an exceedingly conservative midfeild alignment for service.

      Really?

      If anything, Jozy’s club for should raise suspicions about how JK uses him first and foremost, and the strategic approach he has developed for the team in general.

      • Eric W says:

        Very good points. Also, sorry about your Quakes in the playoffs this year. I live in the Bay but I’m from Boston – I support the Quakes, but only after my Revs.

    • Gary Page says:

      As I have pointed out elsewhere, until this year Messi hadn’t come close to showing well for his national side (zero goals in the last WC) and Wayne Rooney recently went a year without scoring for England. And, as someone else pointed out, Altidore led the team in 2009. These things go up and down because of intermittent playing time, changing supporting teammates and a whole bunch of other factors.

    • GSScasual says:

      Im not sure how to put it, so I will be blunt. You made this comment purely to get a response. You really do not know what you are talking about. Do you know how much or how little people care about the national team compared to club? I would say for the most part, it is club over country. Here, it is different. International football really isnt all that big compared to league play… Just observe the conversation with less commenting. please and thankyou.

    • Max says:

      Until recently most would have made the same complaint about Messi on the international stage and there isn’t a team in the world who wouldn’t want him. If you produce at the club level you produce at the club level. The more important question is whether Jozy can continue to produce in a league with tougher defense.

    • Iggy says:

      He hasnt been great for the last cal year, but before that he was great for the US. You have a short memory! Confed cup, gold cup was strong until he went out injured. He was decent in the WC.

      I think he has as many goals as landon did at the same age, and landon got off to a fast start.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      The argument doesn’t follow, I’m hiring him to play for my club, and he currently seems to be playing strong club ball if nothing else. At which point his international form is not my concern unless I think it indicates something about his usefulness in a more difficult league or a different style of play.

      I would be more concerned if it was the opposite, a Carlos Costly or Eric Lichaj or perhaps Juan Agudelo situation. Then it’s like, this guy plays well for his country but in a weekly club league does he show up? I think that’s a more real issue.

    • TomG says:

      Yes that Messi whatshisname guy was awful for a long time with Argentina and never amounted to anything.

    • pancholama says:

      If we [USMNT] could actually string more than three passes together, and learn to offer a little more insight and incisiveness in the middle and attacking thirds of the field, Jozy would probably have at least half a dozen more goals as an international.

      We generally blow at possession style attacking football, and too often he is left stranded as a lone forward, or having to track back into to the deep of the middle third to defend or recover errant passes.

      The US still does not fully grasp, understand, and actualize one of the cardinal rules of Pele’s Soccer Bible – “..the longer the ball remains at your feet, or at the feet of one of your teammates, the greater your chances of scoring will be.” We give up the ball in a cheap, and unintelligent fashion way, way too often to provide consistent and quality service to the forwards on this team.

      That he has not produced in a US uniform as of late is partially a product of all that I have just said, also in part a product of the shift in coaching styles that the team is absorbing and adapting to, and at most 25%-33% a product of his own attitude and preparedness to do the job.

      He is destined for great things – he has a lot of miles to go, and he is a long way from being anywhere near the finished product. Give him and Klinsman and the team some time to gel.

  5. Ceez says:

    Red Bulls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. jon says:

    i hope he at least stays through the summer, and can finally get a full season as a starter under his belt.

  7. Postmaster says:

    Jozy,

    It’s not time to make a change,
    Just relax, take it easy.
    You’re still young, that’s your fault,
    There’s so much you have to know.

    • Don Dallas says:

      If he makes the wrong choice, he might end up saying:

      I wish that I knew what I know now
      When I was younger
      I wish that I knew what I know now
      When I was stronger

    • Ceez says:

      That was almost a haikuu or something.

    • pancholama says:

      Find a girl, settle down
      If you want you can marry
      Look at me, I am old
      But, I’m happy

      • Darwin says:

        Thanks for quoting the Cat. Made my night.

      • Cryptic Lesions says:

        Been dazed and confused for so long, it’s not true
        Wanted a woman, never bargained for you
        Lots of people talkin’, few of them know
        the soul of a woman was created below

  8. Naked Animals says:

    Jozy should stay in Holland and develop further, he is in a good situation right now and is performing rather well now that he actually gets to play in matches at AZ. If AZ management however believes they can get some good cash for him in the future and Jozy agrees, then I don’t see why he should not move on. Once he out grows the Dutch Eredivisie then he should definently consider moving to a better league to continue his progress as a player, it would only be in his best interest.

  9. JJ says:

    If he should go anywhere it better be ajax. He needs to stay in holland so he can continue to polish his first touch.

    • Eric says:

      Agree that he needs to continue working on his first touch but I don’t see what staying in Holland has anything to do with it. He can work on his first touch in any league as long as it’s a high enough level of competition and technical level. The Dutch league is a technical league but so are most of the top leagues and Europe.

      His concerns, if he does decide to move, should be moving up to new challenges and higher levels of competition and playing time. Everything else will come along with it. Yes, certain leagues focus on specific areas (See off ball movement in Spain, tactical awareness in Italy, etc…) but something like first touch is universal. He’ll work on that no matter what league he ends up in.

      • Gary Page says:

        +1

      • Vic says:

        I don’t think he will ever have a good first touch. Either players have it early in their career or they never develop it at all. He has the potential to be a scorer at the top level although I don’t see it yet. Dempsey developed into a world class finisher, but that was only in the past few years. Dempsey still doesn’t have a good first touch.

    • Naked Animals says:

      That sounds like a good idea, stay in Holland and polish the technical aspects of his game, this would help in him becoming a very versatile forward. Ibrahimovic played in Holland and his footwork on the ball and scoring prowess was strengthened and ultimately made him better once he went to Serie A.

    • John Cocktosen says:

      If he wants to polish his touch, shouldn’t he go to play in Poland?

    • Darwin says:

      Ajax is known for their youth teams, and the ones that they develop from the age of 9 that end up on their first team. They don’t just buy 23 year olds and magically turn them into world class stars.

  10. DC Josh says:

    I don’t care what team he is playing for, as long as he is improving and having fun.

    • BigDogg says:

      I don’t even really care if he’s improving, as long as he’s having fun. On another note, General Motors just announced that they will be releasing a car that runs entirely on tickles and giggles.

  11. AZ says:

    These are detailed, deliberate leaks by Ernie Stewart and they ought to throw up huge caution flags for Jozy fans. AZ is not-so-subtly making it know that Jozy is available and they want other teams to believe that there is plenty of demand in the 6-8 million dollar range. As I noted in the last thread, teams never release information like this unless they are deliberately chumming the water. The question is why is AZ Alkmaar now aggressively maneuvering to sell Jozy in the first available transfer window? My suspicion: they know he has had a marketable start to the season and they also are happy to cut ties and give his minutes to different players.

    • Michael R. says:

      Eh…they sold Benschop to Brest. They have no competition for Jozy. He’s getting the fully 90 most weeks now, as opposed to getting pulled at 70-80 minutes last year.

      AZ is a selling club, as is every club in Holland these days (even Ajax.)

      They cashed in on Rasmus Elm last year. (Holman, maybe too. But I think he left on a free.)
      They’ll try to cash out on Jozy for 10 mil. when that offer comes.
      And then they’ll wait for a big money offer for Adam Maher.

      And if their scouts are good, they’ll repeat that cycle.

      • TomG says:

        Good points. Also, I think last year was their time to go for the league title. This team, other than Maher and Altidore, is pretty bad. They may figure it’s better to get what they can for these guys this year and rebuild since they don’t appear to have much of a shot at earning bids or trophies this year.

    • jon says:

      dude, i think you are on to something. but az knows they will inevitably lose jozy, and makes sense that they would fish for juicy offers every transfer window, try to gin up a bidding war and sell high. doesn’t mean they WANT to sell this winter and may just be churning interest with an eye towards a summer transfer. but if they do sell this winter for a number south of 8 mill, then we know you are right – and AZ is basically betting that jozy doen’t post the same #’s the second half of the season.

    • biff says:

      “The question is why is AZ Alkmaar now aggressively maneuvering to sell Jozy in the first available transfer window?”

      Good points, AZ. When this news broke yesterday and I saw the source was a press release on the AZ web site, that was my first thought: AZ is trying to talk up Jozy to sell him in January for the highest price possible. And then today we have anonymous sources naming a couple of teams which supposedly made bids for Jozy. Obviously, AZ is in high-octane PR mode right now.

      As for why AZ might be preparing to sell Jozy, that we don’t know yet. Could be a number of things, such as they need the money or Jozy wants out or whatever. This will be interesting. I would love to see Jozy at Schalke.

      • AZ says:

        Unfortunately, the most likely reason that AZ would be in “high-octane mode” is that they know he is not likely to improve or perhaps even match his goal and assist rates going forward. In other words, they have determined that he has already reached peak value and in fact he may not even be as good as what they hope is his perceived value. Whether that is really 6-8 million, or whether that is just PR, remains to be seen.

        • Arsynic says:

          I disagree that they even have the choice to keep him. AZ is a selling team in a selling league. Even if they did highly value Jozy, they’d still be forced to part with him one way or another.

    • GW says:

      You make this sound so sinister or underhanded. This is SOP for clubs like AZ. No big mystery here.

      When Earnie first bought Jozy he said he saw him as a bargain that they could pick up and develop into a much better player. And of course they planned to sell him.

      That is what AZ do. They are a develop and sell club. The only mystery is that they waited so long. However, if Jozy continues to do well this year waiting will have proved to be a good idea. He should bring quite a profit.

      I would think they will go for it in the January window because it is usually a seller’s market then.

  12. Beto says:

    After a big world cup he will go for 10+

  13. Matt says:

    It’s a business… They paid 1.5 million for him and if they can flip him for 8MM that’s a great bump in revenue. Especially in a year where it’s not looking like they’ll have a European competition to add to the coffers next year. Personally, I’d love to see Jozy stay in the Eredivisie, but if AZ wants to turn a profit, and Jozy will get more money to go somewhere else, what striker in the world is going to say no?

  14. JL says:

    I would like him to move to a club that has the chance at a championship, and isn’t based in the BPL or Spain. I think more of our players need to experience winning the league, learning what that takes and bringing that mentality and experience to the national team. Especially at the young age Jozy is at. I think a move to the Bundasliga would fit him nicely, he can bang with the tough defenses, and do well with the flowing attacks that are becoming standard for the better teams over there.

    • pancholama says:

      Italy or France would be leagues in which he would receive top drawer coaching, and have an opportunity to continue refining his individual and team skills at a very high level.
      Though as others have stated – it would be nice for him to stay at AZ for a little while longer and continue to establish himself. Earnie Stewart is a real positive role model and valuable mentor for him right now.
      It’s all good.

  15. smokarz says:

    Hey Adu, you watching? Get off the couch.

  16. 2tone says:

    I would say it’s a very strong possibility he will be sold in the winter transfer window. Earnie is the Technical director, and he is throwing out subtle hints to the world that Jozy is a garnering quite a bit of interest from bigger clubs with money to spend. AZ qiute frankly is a small club that doesn’t turn much profit. The fact of the matter is that AZ needs money to fill holes in the team, and if Jozy can go for 8 to 10 mill in the winter period I think AZ would be willing to sell. Would not be surprised to see Jozy wearing a different Jersey in a fifferent league come January. But I would hope that Jozy and his agent will be smart, and he goes to a team where he will be given plenty of minutes. Fiorentina would be a very good destination for him.

  17. THomas says:

    How is AZ supposed to be pronounced?

  18. yikes says:

    Fiorentina. Nice Italian club. He could do well there. Regardless if Jozy is scoring 10-15 goals a season then he is being a success.

  19. Kyle says:

    Liverpool are desperate for another striker. He fits in with Rodgers current plan to buy young and have the team grow together. He has proven that he can play in a fluid motion offense that Rodgers is trying to implement. He is a proven scorer (something Liverpool does not currently have outside of Suarez). He can play the wing in the 433 or he can play the central striker. He has Premier League experience. $8-10 is not outside of Liverpool’s stingy price range. I don’t think he will move to Liverpool, but with their lack of strike options, he could move now and possibly cement himself in their starting lineup moving forward.

    • yikes says:

      Not likely. Only if he waa on the cheap cheap

      • Tyler Kitchens says:

        Liverpools owners would spare $8-11million for a striker. That is the cheap cheap in world football these days.

    • pancholama says:

      Agree that it would be great to see him playing, and earning quality minutes, for a top tier Premiership side – but somehow I don’t see Brendan Rogers going for Jozy.
      Hope I am proved wrong, but it doesn’t feel like to me that that’s where Jozy is destined to be.

  20. yikes says:

    Mesi had performed well for Argentina. He provided several assists in the last WC. he cant win a Copa America or WC all on his own. he tries but his play for Barca is way better. its only we complain because we expect to carry that form over for Argentina

  21. yikes says:

    Jozy could become the best US striker ever.

  22. B16 says:

    Why not the Bundesliga as a next stop for Jozy?