Jul 5, 2013, 5:11 PM EDT
Amid wild transfer speculation the past few weeks, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that Jozy Altidore will indeed join Premier League side Sunderland, with the deal to be wrapped up by the end of the weekend.
The official website of Jozy Altidore has also confirmed the deal – for an undisclosed fee – announcing his medical has been scheduled for Monday.
AZ had confirmed a bid from Sunderland a few days ago, but the 23-year-old has remained very quiet regarding his prospective whereabouts for next season.
It will be a triumphant return to the Premier League for the U.S. international, having already played out a disappointing loan spell with Hull City four years ago, scoring just one goal in 28 appearances.
With Sunderland, Altidore will play under former Italian striker Paolo Di Canio at the Stadium of Light. He joins a thin strike squad that includes Steven Fletcher and young Connor Wickham.
Altidore has been in the USMNT picture for a few years now, but only recently burst into the club limelight. Having played in the Dutch Eredivisie the past two seasons with AZ Alkmaar, Jozy netted 31 times in 41 matches last year across all competitions, breaking Clint Dempsey’s record as the top scoring American overseas and leading AZ to the KNVB Cup title. He’s scored 51 goals the past two years with AZ.
Jozy put a lengthy goalless streak with the U.S. national squad behind him this summer, netting in four consecutive matches. He started with a score against top European side Germany, and finished it off by helping the United States grab all nine points in their three CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches that planted his country on top of the Hexagonal table.
The switch back to the Premier League is a chance for the young striker to prove his spell with Hull City was a fluky season of youthful mistakes, and that he can still play in a top European league.
It will also be a chance for him to play not just his international soccer, but also his club game in front of fans in his home country, with NBC bringing all 380 Premier League match next season to the United States airwaves.
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