Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore is in discussions over a return to MLS, according to ESPN reporter Taylor Twellman.
The US international’s struggles at the Stadium of Light have been well-documented at this point, having netted just three goals in 52 total appearances since arriving at the club from AZ Alkmaar in the summer of 2013, and a winter exit has been mooted for several months.
“I thought I’ve done everything I could this season to come in as fit as possible with the injury [suffered at the World Cup] and try to make an impact when I’ve played,” he told reporters back in October.
“But, like I said, this four years I want to be part of the national team.
“Jurgen [Klinsmann] 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.”
Altidore’s agent revealed in recent weeks that a host of European clubs remain interested in his client’s signature, with French club Lille considered the front-runners, but it’s now been revealed that MLS trio the New York Red Bulls, Portland Timbers and Toronto FC have all jumped to the head of the queue.
The Florida-native first made his name with the Red Bulls after bursting onto the scene at the age of 16, scoring 15 goals in 37 regular-season games to earn a $10 million move to Villarreal in 2008, and a return to the States would no doubt be greeted with a great deal of fanfare.
Still just 25, whether it would be the best move for Altidore remains to be seen but, whatever the case, it’s clear that the misfiring front man needs to leave Sunderland as soon as possible to get his once-promising career back on track.