The rumor connecting Kevin-Prince Boateng has been persistent, but lacking the sort of meaningful detail to really allow anyone to get excited about it. Until now.
Scoop-merchant Kristian Dyer has done the necessary digging and unearthed a rather telling piece of evidence: the New York Red Bulls have placed a discovery claim on KPB, according to a league source.
For those unfamiliar, the Discovery Process is one of the mechanisms MLS uses to attempt to diminish the possibility of any player triggering a bidding war within the league. The system was recently remodeled, but its animating principle remains the same: prevent clubs from competing with each other for a player, thereby preventing (in theory) any such competition between clubs driving up the player's asking price.
In the case of the Discovery Process, each team has a list on which it can place up to seven players at any time. Teams can switch players on and off their Discovery Lists with relative impunity, but they are limited to signing just six players per year through this process (expansion teams can sign up to 10 from their Discovery Lists).
In essence, putting KPB on its Discovery List means RBNY has put itself first in line for his services, should he decide to join MLS. It also means, if negotiations break down, that the Red Bulls will retain Right of First Refusal should Boateng and MLS subsequently reach an agreement.
Also in the recently revised rules governing the Discovery Process: another MLS team can force RBNY's hand. If the Red Bulls are not inclined to negotiate with Boateng, another team in the league can effectively bump RBNY out of the way by offering $50,000 in allocation money. In that event, the Red Bulls would either have to accept the money and step out of the way, or proceed with a serious offer to Boateng.
So the news that RBNY has put KPB on its Discovery List does not mean that the player is inevitably moving to MLS or the New York Red Bulls. But it does mean that any further movement on the KPB-to-MLS front will have to involve RBNY.