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Report: Villarreal will buy Altidore and loan him to Huelva


Spanish newspaper Marca delivered a story today laying out a scenario that would have Villarreal buy Jozy Altidore, then loan him out to fellow La Liga squad Recreativo Huelva. The story doesn’t so much report the scenario has done(Steve Goff is reporting that the deal is close), but as a presumable likelhood now that Villarreal has reportedly completed the sale of young defender Martin Caceres to Barcelona for a tidy profit of $16 million.

Is the scenario likely? It is possible, but not done yet. What does appear certain at this point is that Altidore will be sold this summer and Villarreal has the interest and the cash to make it happen. Red Bulls sources stated last week that parent company officials from Red Bull were still weighing whether to sell Altidore and for how much, but that his desire to leave and the club’s desire to have a quick resolution to his status would make a deal likely to be completed before the July 1 opening of the European transfer window.

In other words, Altidore’s last day as a Red Bulls player is coming soon.

Would Marca’s scenario be a good one for Altidore? Based on the Caceres’ successful path from Uruguay to FC Barcelona, it might not be a bad one. Altidore would struggle for playing time with Villarreal, but can step in with Recreativo Huelva and see significant playing time. Caceres was a free transfer from Uruguayan club Defensor to Villarreal, which promptly loaned him out to Recreativo Huelva. There, Caceres became a staple of Huelva’s defense and caught the eye of Pep Guardiala, the new Barcelona manager. Now Caceres is a Barcelona player expected to have a key role on Guardiola’s revamped squad.

That scenario must sound like a beautiful one for Altidore, who is clearly eager to move on to a new challenge.

So here are the big questions. 1) How much will effort will Altidore have in what could be his last matches for the Red Bulls? 2) What will Red Bull do with the transfer money? Will it invest it in the academy or in finding new players for this season and 2009? 3) How will the Red Bulls replace Altidore this season?

The answer to that first question remains unclear. In an ideal world, Altidore would handle his situation like Tim Howard did in 2003. Howard delivered some stunning performances in the final weeks before his transfer to Manchester United, never showing much in the way of being distracted. The more scary scenario would be to have Altidore finish out the string like Clint Mathis did in the fall of 2003, when he was virtually useless in the final weeks before his eventual departure to German club Hannover 96.

Ultimately, the Red Bulls know they have to sell Altidore, and Altidore isn’t likely to find a better scenario than the one at Villarreal. While the Marca piece reads more like a "Here’s what we think might happen" piece than an actual news story, the scenario could very well be what happens.

What does seem clear is that there might not be many more chances to see Altidore play in MLS, with his last match at Giants Stadium possibly being with U.S. national team against Argentina on Sunday (multiple sources have told SBI that Altidore will be called in for the Argentina match). The Red Bulls do play one more home game after Thursday night’s match against Chivas USA, on June 21 against FC Dallas, but national team and Olympic team commitments could force him to miss that match.

What do you think about the possibility of Altidore being sold to Villarreal and the growing likelihood that he will leave MLS this summer? Do you want him to go already? Do you still want him to stay with the Red Bulls the entire 2008 season? Are hoping he winds up in the EPL?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. can the MLS change the rules again and give the red bulls a third DP spot to compensate for altidore’s departure?

  2. @Jay-Z

    hard to say, we did get that international slot(and opened up another one, so we have 2 international slots open now) but still have a full senior roster and a stacked defense.

    We really need a striker on the other hand…

    perhaps Conde to NYRB but for what?

    They moved Smith up to senior roster as well.. Im willing to bet we either go for Mapp or another Striker, send away Cunningham and sign a DP striker (not McBride) and get a money Allocation from Chicago…

  3. Jay-Z- that would sound about right…. ESPN article i read yesterday said that at first TFC suggested Mapp, but he felt that Conde would be the better trade…

    wonder what Conde’s thoughts would be… of course he’s going to a team where he can get PT and quite frankly TFC is doing well so far (assuming they play at home the rest of the season :P)… but wonder if TFC will be able to get Conde to sign up again…. but if they get anything, a half a season of a quality defender could mean the difference of a playoff spot or not…

  4. This is arguably the best move Jozy can make in his young and promising career. La Liga would be a better fit for Jozy than the EPL. The way La Liga teams play and think will develop Jozy the way he should be developed.

    He will get pushed and pressured to play his best every day, even in practice. He will have to work on his ball skills a lot more. Something the U.S. desperately needs at the national team level.

    Great move. Hoping to heck it happens.

  5. wow this really could be great for jozy. let’s hope he keeps his head out of his ass for the rest of his stay here and for his time in spain.

    does anyone know what huelva is all about? do they run out 1 or 2 up top? how would jozy possibly fit in etc etc? i have no doubt that the coaching and competition level in spain will bring out the best in jozy if he wants it…best place for him to be is somewhere…anywhere…in espana

  6. @ Ossington Mental Youth

    Conde to TFC for their allocation slot so the Fire can pick up McBride? It would seem to make sense all around…

  7. As an RBNY fan I’m not that heartbroken. From the stories I’ve read, I’d be looking forward to someone being brought in with better work ethic.


    Dunno if you caught this at all Ives but TFC has traded Phelan to the Revs for an International Slot…

    Something is a-brewin

  9. I understand the reasons for Altidore to go this summer, and probably it’s a great thing for his development.

    That said, I’m still sad to see him go. Home grown talent just isn’t that regular, and it’s great to root for him. Also, the transfer money means little to the Red Bulls except as a measure of value for their player. They’ve already got loads of money to spend.

    But with the Bulls playing in Giants Stadium until Fall of 2009… and Red Bulls FO obviously focused on “stadium first, team second, fans third”… Go Jozy go!

  10. kpugs- dunno what all the redbull fans are down about… it wasnt more then a week ago that the majority of you lot were hanging on Ives’ story about Jozy “losing focus”…. you should be stoked about getting a large sum for a player not playing to his potential :-/

    with all of JCO’s connections i would assume finding a forward would be as easy as finding a pair of defenders this past transfer window:D

  11. I think it is a perfect scenario for Altidore. La Liga is a great place for a young forward to learn the game against quality competition and with first rate coaching. I think it’s a much better scenario than going to the Premier League. I also think not going to one of the top clubs is a plus because he will get more of a chance to play, instead of benchwarming. I hope it happens (since I’m not a NYRB fan).

  12. Mighty, links to blogs posted in comments are deleted. That’s not a new thing.

    Secondly, you should pay attention. I included Goff’s report in my story.

  13. If this happens there are plenty of questions, but the one that concerns me is how he will be replaced this season by the Red Bulls. Even in poor form he is hounded by defenses creating space for his teammates.

    And not for nothing, but if it was up to me I’d prefer to see Altidore take the Bradley route through Holland. That’s just my opinion, I do want the kid to do what he thinks is best for him.

  14. Etch as a replacement? He’s the only other striker we have, no? Otherwise, we’re trying to sign someone. And we all know the immense luck we have with that.

  15. Steve T- i know an italian named rossi that plays for Villareal, but as far as i know, i dont see another american forward…

  16. It seems like Jozy is just treading water this year in MLS. I think it’s time for him to go and motivate/challenge himself in Europe.

  17. 37 games. 25 starts. 15 goals.

    The way some people talk about Altidore, you’d think he played for 10 years and was the all time MLS goal leader. The guy has barely played a full season’s worth of games. Meh.

  18. As a Red Bulls fan I’ll be sad to see him go, but he needs to leave eventually and we really don’t look like we are up to much this season.

  19. So if Jozy does the MLS retirement tour at the end of his European career, it could be another 18 years before I see him play live.

    I’m thoroughly depressed.

  20. Chuck- eh freddy was ready, he just needs a coach to give him some playing time… 5 goals at the beginning of his stint then the new coach doesnt give him much of a shot?? he’s ready and well improved

    as for Jozy, he needs to leave at the middle marker… no need to wear and tear himself down at giant stadium… if you keep him till jan. you stand a chance of seeing him hurt playing on concrete n’ all…

    plus as others have said, he’s clearly ready to be pushed and ready to take on new challenges

  21. This type of move for Altidore would be great for him. Especially the move to Rec H. Where there would be a whole lot less pressure to be “special”. Ives: Question about Nevin Subotic. Read today where he is about to be signed by Borussia Dortmund. Which seems like a great move for him as the CB’s on that team are old and ready to retire/move on. QUESTION: Is he ever going to sign off on becoming a USA National Team member? If so, When? If not, Why? Thanks Ives. Great site!!!!!!

  22. I didn’t think Freddy was “ready” to hack in it Europe but his game has progressed tremendously. Go now Jozy…GO!!

  23. Sad to see him go, he’s fun to watch but clearly ready for a new challenge. I think he is going to play a huge role in the Nats WC run, so having him play in Europe is very impt. Just hope they will televise some of their games here. It also looks like a good situation where he can get some time, the last thing he needs is just a practice squad.

    RedBull better find someone else up front, JPA and Etch can’t handle it all.

  24. Jozy if you reading this………..

    Leave now!!!!!!!!

    Im a Red Bull Fan… but I want to see Altidore become the best player he could be….

    So is better for him to leave!!!

  25. Agoos will probably blow the profit on another one of his old pals. Who else do we have in Europe playing out the string? How about Keller?

  26. If what you say is true Ives, I think we can expect him to fetch at least 12 mil (lets hope the RB FO talks to him and “motivates” him)

  27. Spain would be great for Jozy. It would make him a better rounded player. I think that Spain is actually a better option than England. Lets hope that RBNY/MLS get at least $10 million for him.

  28. Nick, Altidore is nowhere near the end of his MLS contract. I’ve been told his deal is a six-year deal once you factor in MLS option years. This is actually his third season so he still has another year left on his initial four years. If it was his last year then MLS and the Red Bulls wouldn’t be able to ask for as much as 10 million.

  29. I would love to see him stay on, but if I remember correctly, this is his last year of his contract so I don’t want him to leave MLS on a free transfer. RBNY would have to be truly stupid to let that happen when they can probably get $8 million for Altidore. Either way, it’ll be good for Jozy and RBNY if this happens soon, so good luck to everyone involved.


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