Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Red Bull's Altidore headed to Spanish club Villareal

It appears the New York Red Bulls 18-year-old star striker Jozy Altidore is headed to La Liga's Villareal. According to the Associated Press, the deal bringing Altidore to Spain may be worth over $10 million, shattering the MLS record of around $4 million (for Clint Dempsey in 2006) received for a player. The Red Bulls have agreed to the fee and all that is left is for Altidore to agree to a contract and pass a physical. After agreeing to terms, Altidore still must wait till the European transfer window opens on July 1st to complete the move.

Over the winter speculation surrounding Altidore linked him to England's Newcastle United and Reading, as well as Spanish giants Real Madrid. More recently the BBC had him as a possible transfer target of top English clubs Manchester United, Chelsea, and Manchester City.

Altidore has started 7 of New York's 9 games this year tallying 3 goals and 1 assist. Overall since being drafted in 2006 as a 16-year-old, the Florida native played in 37 games, starting 25 and scored 15 goals along with 5 assists.

The Red Bulls should receive a portion of the transfer fee and an allocation, but depending on who, if anyone, the team brings in, this could prove a big blow to New York. Already struggling in 5th place in the East, Altidore has been directly involved in 40% of the team's goals this season and his likely replacement in the starting line-up (pending any moves) is John Wolyniec, who has yet to score this season.

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