JOZY Altidore’s move to Sunderland was expected to be confirmed today after the striker underwent a medical in the North East yesterday.
The USA front-man flew into the North East at the weekend after a transfer fee was agreed between AZ Alkmaar and Sunderland of around £6m.
And after being shown around the club’s facilities Altidore and his representatives continued talks over personal terms ahead of the medical.
Overnight the club were looking to rubber-stamp the few remaining details of the move with there expected to be no last-minute hitches in the deal.
If things go ahead as planned, Altidore will be confirmed a Sunderland player today, tomorrow at the latest, and a major part of the Black Cats’ summer revamp will be in place.
The pacey, powerful, athletic 23-year-old who has been prolific for the Dutch side over the past two seasons was Sunderland’s key target this summer.
And his acquisition will allow Paolo Di Canio to look forward with more confidence to the coming campaign.
The Sunderland head coach identified a lack of goalscorers as the side’s primary failing last season.
And he said that ideally he would like five strikers to choose from in his first full campaign, a campaign which would see the emphasis put on attack.
Altidore has played in English football – an unimpressive spell at Hull City in the 2009-10 season during which he scored one goal in 16 Premier League starts.
But Altidore himself has said he is a vastly improved player since that loan and points to his recent impressive record at international level, as well as his goal-laden past two seasons at AZ as evidence of his development.
Certainly, Sunderland fans will be happier once his signature is confirmed.
So far this summer the club has acquired a string of promising if not entirely proven young players.
And while £6m Altidore is not exactly a marquee signing, he is a forward of real promise whose career is on a strongly upward curve.
The American would expect to be a first-choice striker next season and a partnership with either Steven Fletcher, or Stephane Sessegnon if he is still at the club, could prove to be a very interesting prospect.