The New York Red Bulls' rumor mill is spinning increasingly wildly at the moment. Irish international winger James McClean was rumored to be thinking about MLS, maybe even RBNY - and now he is reported to be in New York. Ghanaian forward Abdul Aziz Yusif was said to be heading to America for a trial with the Red Bulls, but that report has been flatly denied by the club - which has also admitted it has been tracking the player.
And Kevin-Prince Boateng was reported to have been tagged with a Discovery Claim by RBNY, before head coach Jesse Marsch came out with the news that a KPB transfer to Harrison "isn't happening."
But that was prior to Boateng's summary dismissal by former club Schalke 04. Until his abrupt free-agency, KPB was a player thought to be quite probably leaving Schalke at the end of the season, but only on terms satisfactory to a man reported to be earning around $9 million per season and a club that paid an eight-figure transfer fee for his services in 2013.
If he is out of contract (some reports suggest the "release" announced by Schalke is more an instruction to seek out new employment, but not formal release from a contract), then Boateng would no longer be subject to a potential transfer fee. And the question of whether he would be willing to take a cut in the pay Schalke was contracted to deliver to him next season would also be moot. He would be free to negotiate whatever terms he pleases with whomever is interested.
Does this news change RBNY's thinking?
Not according to Marsch, in comments provided to Big Apple Soccer's Kristian Dyer:
"Not much has changed."
Hold on, Jesse. "Not much"? So there was something to change? There is or was a conversation ongoing with KPB and it could have been affected by this news?
A source did tell Dyer - reporting for Metro (no relation) on that occasion - there was indeed a conversation between MLS and KPB: hence the Discovery Claim from RBNY. So perhaps we have at least got an on-the-record step toward confirmation of Mr. Dyer's last story on this subject.
Or Marsch may simply be increasingly fond of a teasing turn of phrase with regard to transfer rumors: his comments to Dyer on the subject of Abdul Aziz Yusif merely replaced one question (is he coming on trial this week?) with another (what do you mean "yet"?).
Marsch does go on to refer the Boateng question back to his previous comment on the matter - which probably ought to be taken as a clear and unqualified denial of the suggestion KPB might be on his way to RBNY.
And yet, "not much has changed" is a comment that suggests those daring to dream of a Boateng-boosted Bulls need not abandon all hope just yet. Because "not much has changed" could be taken to imply there is still some possibility for change.
There may yet be a little more to come from this rumor (and, if past experience is a guide, it is probably going to be delivered to us by Kristian Dyer).