A specific link to the New York Red Bulls has been less strong, and had appeared to be getting steadily weaker: Essien's attention was said to be on other leagues, and the RBNY connection didn't appear to amount to much more than the fact that it is a well known MLS club understood to have an affection for high-profile players.
But the idea of Essien - 32 years old and limited by a succession of injuries - joining the current incarnation of RBNY has never quite fit. The club has plenty of central midfield options, and appears to prize youth and mobility above experience at the moment.
Unsurprisingly, the rumor mill moved on. A couple of days ago, the talk around Essien was of a move to Panathinaikos, one of the biggest clubs in Greece.
Now the rumor mill is pushing a different story: a report attributed to Tuttosport (let us know if you find it), and echoed loudly across the European blogosphere, suggests the Ghanaian veteran has turned down a solid offer from Olympiacos (another one of the biggest clubs in Greece) and favors a move to MLS - the New York Red Bulls, in particular.
Credit this rumor for its persistence, and Essien's career peaked at a level most players never achieve - he could surely still do very good work for a team somewhere in the world. But it would be a big surprise if that team is RBNY.
The rumor mill, however, rolls on, undeterred.