Thierry Henry dropped a line to Ronaldinho in late June, right before Ronaldinho left Atletico Mineiro to try and get him to join the Red Bulls. Henry pitched the "excellent salary," New York and "the tranquility found" here as reasons to sign a deal.
Right before that alleged phone call -- again according to ESPN.com.br -- Ronaldinho's agent, brother and former player Assis met with the Red Bulls and pitched the reigning South American Player of the Year as "an ambassador of NY Red Bull for the planet."
That meeting was held during the World Cup, the report said, making it the not-so-serious one mentioned in other media reports.
Orlando City is another possible MLS landing spot for Ronaldinho according to the report, but an Orlando Sentinel story yesterday has a team source ruling the expansion club out of the running.
Of course, there was that report we linked to earlier in the day that said the two were close to signing a $3 million deal, too, which could mean the Red Bulls are still in play (again, depending on who you choose to believe).
The central question, if ESPN.com.br is right, is the nature of that meeting during the World Cup. Did the two sides have a serious discussion? Or were the two sides taking each other's temperature? Are the Red Bulls trying to keep things quiet as to not start a bidding war or is his asking price really just too high?
There's a reason to take this report with a grain of salt, beyond the fact it's classic transfer silly season stuff: This isn't the first time Henry's "made a phone call" to try and recruit a player. Over the winter he -- reportedly -- called Xavi to pitch the prospect of playing in MLS for the Red Bulls to him.
Those rumors were met with a pretty blunt repudiation by Xavi: "Henry has not called me, nor have I spoken with him ... I do not have his telephone number."