New York City FC director of football Claudio Reyna is refusing to be drawn on reports linking the club with a move for out-of-favour Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore.
Altidore’s struggles in the north east have, of course, been well-documented at this point, with the imposing front man finding himself behind both Connor Wickham and Steven Fletcher in the pecking order, having netted just once in 37 Premier League games since arriving from AZ Alkmaar last summer.
With his pivotal role on the US national team, the former New York Red Bulls hitman stressed the need for regular first-team football last month, and conceded that he would need to look for a move come the winter if he continues to be confined to the Sunderland bench.
“I thought I’ve done everything I could this season to come in as fit as possible with the injury and try to make an impact when I’ve played," he said prior the US’s friendly against Ecuador. “But like I said this four years I want to be part of the national team.
“Jurgen [Klismann’s] makes his message very clear, nobody is different, so if it doesn’t turn around then in January I’ll be looking to start elsewhere and make sure that I’m in his plans.”
With some reports claiming that Sunderland themselves are already preparing to ship Altidore out in January, rumours of a return to MLS with expansion side NYCFC have been swirling in recent months, but Reyna remains reluctant to discuss his availability at this point in time.
“American players are important for us and we’d love to have them representing NYCFC,” he told Extra Time Radio.
“But I’m not going to confirm any player, really out of respect for the players being at certain clubs. There are many conversations going on with many players, but there’s nothing I can confirm right now regarding any particular player.”
Reyna added, however, that the Manchester City-backed outfit are actively looking for an attacking Designated Player to compliment summer signings Frank Lampard and David Villa, and revealed that discussions have already been held with potential targets.
“We’re really working hard to get somebody for January. Fortunately there are options coming to us. As our team is starting to form, we're looking more for an attacking-type player," he said.
"Our focus is in No. 10 and No. 9. Goal scorers, goal scorers. If you look in the league, the DPs that have been successful when you look at Thierry [Henry] and Robbie Keane and the likes of these players and obviously Landon [Donovan], creating and scoring goals, is something we'd like. We want to be attacking team. That's where our focus is."
It remains to be seen whether that goalscorer will be Altidore but, with City’s millions behind them, the club certainly have the spending power to offer the 25-year-old an enticing enough DP offer.