AZ Alkmaar snubs offer for Altidore
It was revealed earlier on Tuesday that the Black Cats had made a move for the American forward as they continue to reshape their squad under new manager Paolo Di Canio. But their opening bid has been knocked back by AZ, who have already banked 8 million euros after allowing Adam Maher to join PSV Eindhoven and are not under pressure to sell.
An AZ spokesman told Dutch press agency ANP: "A first bid was insufficient. We have let them know that. Now we have to wait."
Altidore, who has already had a spell in England with Hull City in 2009, enjoyed the best season of his career last term after scoring 23 league goals for AZ Alkmaar. Sunderland must now consider whether to return with an improved offer for the 23-year-old, or turn their attention to alternative targets.
Altidore claims he would consider a return to the Premier League. The USA international spent a season on loan at the KC Stadium in 2009-10, but struggled to produce his best as the Tigers were relegated from the Premier League.
"It is a fantastic league, anyone will tell you that," Altidore told NASN. "If you look at everything, the Premier League is probably the biggest league in the world. Everybody knows that and it would be a pleasure to play in a league like that again."
On his time at Hull, which brought just one goal, he added: "I think I was 19 or just turned 20 and I had not played in Europe before that. It is a totally different style from the MLS.
"I have come a long way since then. I am almost a different player and I have learned a lot. So I don't think there is any resemblance to that time if I went back to the league any time soon. I have played 100-plus games (since leaving Hull). Playing there at that age and playing in the best league in the world, you can't expect to hit the ground running.
"Some of my performances at Hull were not as bad as people think, some of them were actually pretty good. I don't look back at it as a sad experience. It was a great experience because I got to see what the highest level was like."