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Report: New York Red Bulls have signed RB Leipzig's Tim Sebastian

No, this rumor has not gone away. If anything, it's gathering strength.

Matthias Kern/Getty Images

Remember Tim Sebastian? He is the RB Leipzig stalwart who has fallen out of favor since Ralf Rangnick took over day-to-day coaching of the first team, but remains a respected figure at the club. Before Christmas, it was reported that Sebastian was in line for a synergy-move from Leipzig to the New York Red Bulls. And then it was reported that he was not.

A few days ago - January 8 - Guido Schafer reported for that the deal is done: Sebastian has finalized a two-year contract with RBNY and "will practice a few weeks with the RBL and then relocate."

Done deal?

Perhaps. Schafer is a close watcher of RB Leipzig - he was the reporter who broke the news Matt Miazga had joined the club's Qatar training camp last year - and his piece is mostly a detailed discussion of whether $130,000 is sufficient salary to raise a family in New York. (Conclusion: no - Schafer reports Sebastian's deal was held up by money issues, and has finally settled on a wage in the $200K/season range.) It would appear Mr. Schafer has been speaking to someone with a detailed understanding of the negotiations.

Of course, no deal is ever done until it is officially announced. Contracts fall through for a variety of reasons. And RB Leipzig has used its social media presence to succinctly confront the report that Sebastian is RBNY-bound:

(Rough) Translation: "I'm still here," says Tim Sebastian.

And Sebastian denied any deal had been finalized, telling "I am dealing with the issue, but there is still nothing to announce."

So Sebastian is in Leipzig (the first team just kicked off its mid-winter training camp, and he was present). And Jesse Marsch is at the MLS Combine, telling SBI's Franco Panizo that RBNY is still hoping to hang on to Matt Miazga for 2016, and that he is quite happy with the current roster:

We don’t really feel a need to go on the international market and make any big signings, because we like our group.

One might point out that Jesse's actions - he's at the Combine presumably scouting for draft picks to add to an already-full MLS roster - don't entirely align with his words (though he is presumably contractually obliged to attend the Combine and at least feign an interest in the SuperDraft). But there is a reserve team that needs a few players - and maybe the seemingly inevitable allocation of some of RBNY's newly-signed prospects to USL contracts will create space for further additions to the first team roster.

For Schafer's report of Sebastian's impending arrival to be true, at least one of the players currently penciled in to the MLS squad will need to make way. Or MLS will need announce a change to the current limit of 28 players per team.