With Jozy Altidore set to put an end to his Premier League miseries, it’s been reported for a few days (first by Taylor Twellman) that Major League Soccer is a major player for his signature, albeit not the only player.
However, now it appears that their presence is growing, and one team has risen to the top of the pecking order.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle, Toronto FC is the “frontrunner” of MLS teams looking to sign Jozy Altidore.
The report by Carlisle says the league is looking to shed the “bad look” of the blind draw that saw Jermaine Jones end up with the New England Revolution, and therefore will likely follow the normal allocation rules. With two teams ready to put up the money to sign Jozy ($5-6 million according to Carlisle) in Toronto and Portland Timbers, the former has the higher allocation spot.
Carlisle’s report says that while Portland could always work out a trade for a higher allocation spot, at the moment it appears Toronto would be the team to take on the USMNT striker.
The main stumbling block for Toronto would be their lack of a Designated Player slot. Jermain Defoe has long been rumored to be on his way out, but until that becomes official, Altidore can’t be signed at his current price. There also still needs to be a transfer fee negotiated by Toronto and Sunderland.
Jozy has really struggled with the Black Cats, with just two Premier League goals in 70 appearances during his two-year stretch with Sunderland. Before that, he was a smashing success in the Dutch Eredivisie, but also struggled in a year stint with Hull City in England.