Red Bull's rumored interest in adding to its global family of soccer clubs has been around for a while: most notably and persistently last year, when the company was linked to a takeover of Leeds United.
The Leeds rumor may be ready for another run in the sun. In October, German journalist Raphael Honigstein told Guardian podcast Football Weekly he believed Red Bull was still interested in Leeds, but was waiting for controversial owner Massimo Cellino to step aside.
The end-game in many ways, I think, for Rangnick - although he won't admit this on the record - is to go and see if they can get Leeds. I think that's his dream. As soon as Cellino is out the door, they would like to take over Leeds.
It has recently been suggested that Cellino is close to selling up and moving on, leaving Leeds in the hands of fellow Italian Andrea Radrizzani.
There have been several reports insisting Red Bull was looking into taking Nottingham Forest off the hands of troubled owner Fawaz al-Hasawi, but The Guardian advises any potential deal was scuppered by the demands of the current Forest boss.
So Red Bull is pretty much a near-constant feature of English football gossip. The Daily Mail reports it is the company's ambition to make its sporadic presence in England's soccer chat more permanent:
Red Bull, one of the biggest global sponsors of sport, have stated that England is the next football territory on their radar during recent talks with clubs about players.
It isn't entirely clear whether the Mail is simply re-framing news from previous Red Bull forays into English football (RB Leipzig acquired Oliver Burke from Notts Forest this season; Liverpool's Andre Wisdom is on loan at Salzburg: "recent talks with clubs about players" is not necessarily news), or has fresh information that is unrelated to the heavily-reported pursuit of Leeds and Forest, or player acquisitions from English clubs.
What is clear, however, from the Mail's report is that we are entering another period of Red-Bull-takeover rumor-mongering.
The Mail notes that Ralf Rangnick was in England recently on a scouting trip, watching games at Chelsea, Charlton, and Brentford. Inconveniently, none of those clubs are thought to be for sale. More inconveniently, Rangnick is the de facto head of Red Bull soccer, but he's a tactics and training guy, not a mergers and acquisitions specialist.
Still, the seemingly irrelevant anecdote in the Mail's story illustrates the point that there is rarely any shortage of Red-Bull-shopping-for-club-rumor smoke. And now the British press is seeking out a Red-Bull-shopping-for-club-rumor fire.
That sound you hear is Oliver Mintzlaff (the actual head of Red Bull Global soccer) rehearsing his best rumor-killing lines.