The rumors are heating up about Real Madrid's interest in New York Red Bulls striker Jozy Altidore. In a Goal.com report, Altidore's agent, Richard Motzkin, confirmed that the Spanish champion has sent representatives to meet with the youngster, who became eligible for a move to Europe when he turned 18 earlier this month. Just last week, Altidore made his debut for the senior national team in a friendly versus South Africa.
"The fact that Real Madrid are keen to sign him is a real honor for Jozy," Motzkin explained. "It is now certain that a big club wants to sign him." But that doesn't mean Altidore will jump at any chance that's presented to him. On his blog in the New York Times, Altidore revealed in a recent post that playing time would be a major factor in his decision whether to leave the Red Bulls and MLS. "Do I want to play for a big team? Of course, but it's more important for me to be playing right now and not be with a high-profile team on a reserve team or something like that," he said, sounding well beyond his 18 years. "For a young player, if you're able to play on a big team so be it, but the idea is to play all the time. I'm still young and I've still got a lot to learn."
Incidentally, Altidore said he found out about Real's interest in him from U.S. teammate DaMarcus Beasley, who read about it in the papers prior to last week's friendly versus South Africa. "I can't help but smile about it right now," Altidore said, adding that until something "real happens" he's content to stay with the Red Bulls and try to win a championship next year.