The two clubs are inching towards agreeing on a transfer fee as AZ submitted a counter-offer to PSV, confirmed AZ technical director Earnest Stewart, in addition to giving Eindhoven permission to begin discussions with the player. The talks could see Maher leave AZ after scoring seven goals in the league and assisting in five others.
The two youngsters paired wonderfully last season, a year which saw Altidore net 23 league goals and 31 in all competitions.
In Eredivisie league play, of Maher’s five assists, three were on Altidore goals, and two of Maher’s seven scores came on feeds from Jozy. Three of Maher’s five assists in the Dutch Cup went to Alditore.
At just 19 years old, the Dutch U-21 international has a bright future if this past season has anything to say about it.
But what we’re more concerned with is how this affects the U.S. international. AZ were able to capture the Dutch Cup, the KNVB Beker, thanks to eight goals in six matches from Altidore, plus three goals and five assists from his young partner.
However, despite the 23 league goals from Altidore last year, AZ finished just 10th, a sheer disappointment after finding themselves top-5 in the previous four seasons including a league title in 2008/2009.
AZ have higher aspirations than 10th, and with the sale of their young creative force it could mean they shut down the sale side of their transfer dealings. Altidore has been linked with a step up in European soccer after his successful season, with clubs in the Bundesliga and Premier League said to be interested.
If Maher heads out first, AZ may not be inclined to sell both their leading goalscorers from the previous season. Altidore sits on a 4-1/2 year deal that doesn’t end until June of 2015, so there is no requirement for the Dutch club to capitulate.
If AZ do wish to cash in, however, now would be the right time for them to do so given Jozy’s goalscoring record from last season. Just today news broke that Sunderland are “interested” in Altidore – whatever that means – and he apparently is one of the top targets for Paolo Di Canio this summer.