Word out of Italy is that under-employed pro soccer player Kevin-Prince Boateng has signed a US deal after all. Not, as it would be fair to assume, in the context of competitive professional soccer, but as a reality TV star.
Novella 2000 reports Boateng and fiancee Melissa Satta have signed a contract with an American production company to have their lives filmed and made the subject of a TV show in the build-up to their wedding. The ceremony is reported to be scheduled for July 2016.
Boateng and Satta might not be primetime material in the US, but they have a relatively high profile in Europe, especially in Germany and Italy - where KPB celebrity as a soccer star is perhaps at its highest; Satta co-hosts TikiTaka on Italian TV.
As has been pointed out by many an article on this subject, this is the first news of a successful contract signing for Boateng since he fell out of favor at Schalke and was told he would need to find a new employer. The news of KPB's sudden availability broke in May, but he has not managed to find a new club - despite what we believe to be no shortage of offers.
A few weeks ago, Bild counted six possible opportunities for Boateng to leave Schalke, either spurned or scuppered by the player, his current club, or the alleged suitor. That number did not include the New York Red Bulls, who were reported to have sufficient interest to have slapped a Discovery Claim on him, before acknowledging any chance of signing KPB had faded shortly thereafter. And more recently, Boateng has been linked to FC Sion in Switzerlandand Steaua Bucharest in Romania.
But he is still at Schalke and it seems clear now that his club is not going to terminate his contract and let him walk out on a free transfer, and KPB is evidently not in any mood to jump at the first (or second, or eighth) offer to come his way from a club willing to do a deal with his current team.
The German press has resorted to helpfully identifying leagues that still have open transfer windows, but all signs suggest Boateng is staying put, at least until the winter transfer window.
That torpedoes the hope that RBNY might spin that Discovery Claim into profit (MLS clubs can be compensated for a prior claim on an incoming player), as it is now all-but-certain Boateng will outlast the expiry of the Red Bulls' nominal right of first refusal were he to move to MLS.
But KPB might retain a soft spot for the North American league: it is reported his TV deal owes something to one of his dealings with a MLS team earlier this year. And if that team was RBNY, perhaps Boateng will be inclined to return the favor in due course.