Is U.S. international Jozy Altidore a $15 million man?

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Whatever profit AZ makes on Jozy Altidore will be pure, golden gravy for the small Dutch club. Remember, they got him for the cheapest of cheap from Villarreal: free.

Still, it stands to reason that AZ would like to maximize profit for the in-form striker, who struck 31 times last year and recently scored in four straight matches for the United States.

I asked AZ technical director Earnie Stewart recently for some idea of what they would like to get for Altidore, who went to Spain for the whopper sum of $10 million in 2008. He politely declined, of course, citing club policy (not to mention general common sense … but I’m a journalist, so it’s my job to ask.)

Sourcing in England can be a bit loose, and is frequently more of a “guideline” than a “rule,” so take this for what you will. But a report today out of Sunderland suggests the asking price might be around $15 million, which sounds a tad high. Then again, we’re early in the process, so it’s still a seller’s market.

This report from the Northern Echo says Sunderland’s offer (we talked about it yesterday) for $7.6 million was rejected.  Further, it says sources out of Holland have quoted AZ’s asking price at £10m, or right at about $15 million.

By comparison, Clint Dempsey’s final price last year for Spurs was just north of $9 million. That was an 11th hour deal, however, and Dempsey’s hardline stance on returning to Craven Cottage had subtracted all leverage from the sellers, Fulham FC.