Alkmaar tell Sunderland to up £5m Jozy bid

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Football/Golf Writer

SUNDERLAND have had a £5m offer for AZ Alkmaar striker Jozy Altidore turned down but are confident of landing three new players within the next 48 hours.

The Black Cats have stepped up their pursuit of the American front-man after he admitted a desire to return to the Premier League after a spell at Hull City a few seasons ago.

But Alkmaar are in no mood to let Altidore leave for much less than their valuation, which sources in Holland claim is nearer to £10m after scoring 31 goals in 41 appearances last season.

An Alkmaar official was quoted in Holland last night saying: "The first offer was not sufficient. We have let them know. Now it's wait and see."

There is also interest in Altidore, 23, from around Europe, with German clubs ready to compete with Sunderland for his signature along with Fulham.

Sunderland's players, old and new, are due to start pre-season training today and Paolo Di Canio is expecting to have plenty more new additions before the start of the season in August.

Ideally the majority of his squad will be together before they head to Hong Kong to play two matches, the first of which will be against Tottenham on July 24 for the Barclays Asia Trophy.

And the next phase of the squad restructuring is likely to see goalkeeper Vito Mannone complete his move from Arsenal today.

The Italian goalkeeper was on Wearside yesterday to undergo a medical and finalise a switch worth reputedly £2m. The 25-year-old made 13 appearances for Arsenal, four of them in the Champions League, but the last of which was in November.

And he should be followed by the arrivals of full-backs Benjamin Mendy and Gino Peruzzi within the next couple of days.

Mendy, an 18-year-old left-back, is due in the North-East to complete his £2m switch from Le Havre. Peruzzi, a 21-year-old right-back, is also flying over from Argentina to finalise his £3.5m move from Velez Sarsfield.

Sunderland's South Korean striker Ji Dong-Won's hopes of landing a move to Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund have been dented, meanwhile.

Dortmund have agreed a fee of £13m for St Etienne's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, also wanted by Newcastle, so are unlikely to be willing to pay the £5m fee for Ji as well.

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