AZ director of football Earnie Stewart says big clubs are watching Jozy Altidore

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U.S. striker Jozy Altidore is off to a red-hot start with Dutch side AZ this season, and it appears that some of Europe's biggest clubs have started to take notice.

"He is developing great. He is a target for the team, plays good football and translates that also in goals," AZ director of football and former U.S. international Earnie Stewart told the club's official website.

"That is not going unnoticed abroad. This season, there have been scouts of big clubs like Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in the AZ gallery [to watch him]."

After a stuttering start to his European career, Altidore broke out with 19 goals in all competitions last year in his first season with AZ. The strong campaign brought a bid from a large Eastern European club in this summer's transfer window, Stewart confirmed.

"Last summer there was indeed a bid for Jozy from a wealthy country in Eastern Europe," Stewart said. "This bid, however, came at a very late stage in which we could not adequately act in terms of attracting a possible successor. For us it was not interesting enough."

Also Jozy was happy to remain AZ. He has, after years of wandering, found a home. He doesn't want just any club move."

It appears that if Altidore is to leave AZ, it won't be to just any club, as his nine goal tally to start the 2012-13 campaign has attracted attention from some of Europe's biggest clubs. Stewart knows that come the winter transfer window, or the summer window after that, he could be losing one of his biggest assets.

"I do not exclude that come this winter or at the end of the season, there will be more interest in Jozy," Stewart said.

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