As the European summer transfer window edges ever nearer, the number of players looking at expiring contracts and the need for a new club is increasing.
One of those players is Kevin-Prince Boateng. The Ghanaian international was linked to MLS back in March, so no surprise that he's being linked to the league again. But now, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, the versatile attacking player is considering inquiries from a specific MLS team: the New York Red Bulls.
This is relevant to the Italian news outlet because there had been talk of Boateng returning to Serie A, where he had a successful run with AC Milan (Serie A title in 2010-11, and the 2011 Supercoppa Italiana). The paper reports the prospect of seeing Boateng in Italy's top flight again is receding.
The 28-year-old has long been thought to be in the market for a new club: he has only made 16 appearances and 10 starts for Schalke 04 this season. But the most recent rumor bearing his name - from Bild earlier this week - suggested he was attracting most interest from unspecified clubs in China.
Gazzetta dello Sport has fresh (or different, at least) information, suggesting the current competition for Boateng's signature is between Turkish giant Galatasaray and RBNY.
The MLS team has recently initiated contacts, checking the possibility that Boateng accept an adventure in America. The median time there is to the interest of Galatasaray.
With regard to the Red Bulls, Boateng does fit some part of the profile the team is thought to prefer: he is on the right side of 30, he is an attacking player, and he certainly brings high-level experience. He has played in UEFA's Champions League, as well as appearing in two World Cups for Ghana (the last tournament being, perhaps, not his finest moment for his national team). At his best, he is an energetic and versatile player, capable of playing wide, in central midfield, or up front.
Jesse Marsch has said RBNY might be interested in more attacking players, especially with regard to any potential Designated Player signings.
But Boateng might be a particularly pricey DP: he is under contract with Schalke until 2016, and that contract is reported to pay him approximately $9 million per year. His transfer fee from AC Milan was in excess of $10 million, though Schalke was recently reported to have reduced its asking price in an effort to move him on - but that cut-price was said to be in the region of $5 million.
"RBNY signs 28-year-old, international-class attacking player" doesn't sound too far-fetched. But "RBNY pays multi-million dollar salary and transfer fee for new player" does sound a little at odds with what is perceived to be a relatively subdued attitude to transfer spending in Harrison.
Still, where there's a will there's a way - and we are being told the Red Bulls have a will. More to follow on this story, we suspect. OaM will keep you updated.