News breaking today that former Newcastle target 18 year-old Red Bulls striker Jozy Altidore appears to be going to Villarreal.
Jozy Altidore – snapped up by Spanish club Villareal
It appears that the Spanish first-division club have agreed a transfer deal with Major League Soccer for New Yorkâ€™s outstanding teenage striker.
Altidore, thought to be one of the United Statesâ€™ most promising prospects, has still to negotiate a contract with the Spanish club, but a transfer fee has been agreed.
This would still leave Newcastle time to move, if they are interested in capturing the 18 year-old Yankee whiz kid.
While no transfer terms were released, the fee is thought to be around Â£5M at a minimum, which is nearly double the amount previously paid for an American when English club Sunderland bought Claudio Reyna for Â£2.8M in 2001.
MLS deputy commissioner Ivan Gazidis said the transfer was negotiated relatively quickly:
â€œThis was a decision we and the Red Bulls took rationally, with the objective to achieve a couple of things:
1) Provide Jozy with an opportunity heâ€™s been looking for
2) And more importantly from our point of view – give us resources to elevate the team and the league,â€
â€œItâ€™s an offer we wouldnâ€™t be accepting unless we believed the money gave us the opportunity to make the Red Bulls and MLS better.” “Our only motivation is that we received such value that it can let us make a step forward.â€
MLS is a league in which the league owns all the players’ contracts and pays the players out of a central wages fund. Teams then negotiate individual contracts with league’s oversight.
Red Bulls sporting director and former US International Jeff Agoos said in describing Altidoreâ€™s reaction to the transfer:
â€œI think he was happy,â€ â€œI think every young MLS player wants to go play for a team in Europe.â€
The 18-year-old Altidore already has made 3 appearances for the full US side, and he was a key member of the U.S. team that qualified for the Olympics in April.
He is still expected to lead the team in Beijing.
With his combination of speed, size and strength, the 6’1″ striker has been mentioned repeatedly as a possible transfer target for Newcastle since last summer.