Calciomercato.com, Tuttomercato.web, and several other sites report Palermo's Enzo Maresca is eyeing a move to MLS having learned his current contract - which expires in June 2016 - will not be renewed. The original report is attributed to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Maresca won back-to-back UEFA Cups (predecessor of today's Europa League) with Sevilla, but that heyday is almost a decade removed from the 35-year-old. He has been a regular, if not ever-present, starter for Palermo since moving to the Sicilian club in January 2014.
The Italian midfielder was linked to a US move over the summer - but it was NASL's New York Cosmos, not a team in MLS, that was the main subject of that rumor. At the time, it as reported the Cosmos were chasing a replacement for Marcos Senna, another player whose glory days were in La Liga about a decade ago. Senna was almost 36 when he signed for the Cosmos, and Maresca will turn 36 in February - but if the Cosmos learned anything from the Senna signing, it is that a 36-year-old midfielder of a certain caliber can be a very useful asset indeed.
So perhaps the NASL club's hunt for Maresca is still on. Or perhaps there is indeed a team in MLS looking for veteran midfield assistance. Maresca is said to be inspired to move to the US in part by the presence of Andrea Pirlo and Sebastian Giovinco on these shores.
Pirlo's current employer, NYCFC, is certainly not a team inclined to discriminate against a player on the basis of age. Indeed, it has just been linked to 34-year-old Bilbao forward Aritz Aduriz. Conversely, Maresca's age alone is sufficient reason to rule out any likelihood of his being considered by the New York Red Bulls.
Indeed, he may not be seriously under consideration by any club in the US. This is early days for the winter rumor mill season. Currently, we are seeing just a smattering of gossip, mostly relating to respected players considered to be ageing out of contention for playing time at their current clubs: Inter's Nemanja Vidic; the aforementioned Aduriz; now Maresca; quite possibly Rodrigo Palacio in the not-too-distant future (Inter has a laundry list of players thought to be lined up for a winter clear-out).
These players are low-hanging fruit for a rumor mill long accustomed to adding a fading reputation to an expiring European contract and concluding MLS is the next destination.
We'll judge how much truth there is to these rumors by their ability to persist through the inevitable proliferation of MLS transfer gossip that will follow the advent of the North American league's off-season.