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Rumor: Israeli clubs circling Omer Damari

If the rumor mill has its way, Damari will be heading home soon.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Omer Damari had the unfortunate distinction of being the first player cut from the 2016 roster. As the New York Red Bulls moved reluctantly into off-season mode, Sporting Director Ali Curtis confirmed the forward would be returning to RB Leipzig - from whence he came on loan.

Damari is the first player to have appeared for RBs Leipzig, Salzburg, and NY - and the first to have not been particularly successful at any of them.

Successful or not, there was no suggestion that he was ever going to stay at RBNY longer than the tenure of his loan, which was simply to the end of the 2016 MLS season. Damari had reportedly been told he could stay in Leipzig and play for the reserves, or see if he could find his form with the New York branch of the Red Bull soccer family. Whether he did find that form or not, it seemed most likely he'd be back in Germany by Christmas - seeking a January transfer away from Red Bull altogether.

There was always a chance he and RBNY would hit it off and seek to extend their relationship, but that is a scenario that was never allowed to play out. As had happened during his stints with both Leipzig and Salzburg, Damari's time at RBNY was interrupted by injury. And when he was fit and ready for one last shot making his time in New York count, he got himself sent off in the first leg of the Red Bulls' playoff series against Montreal. And the Red Bulls got themselves sent out of the playoffs in the second leg.

So Damari is assumed to be heading back to Leipzig with one less option, because he is expensive by the standards of MLS and RBNY can be assumed to be a little gunshy about making a DP-level investment in a player who only managed six appearances and 109 minutes in all competitions after his mid-August debut. RBNY played 15 games in all competitions in that time, and Damari managed to find a way into less than half of them - mostly due to his fitness problems.

All of which appears to leave Damari looking for a new way to escape Leipzig's reserves. Before he arrived at RBNY, it was rumored he favored a return home: to Israel, where he was a prolific goal scorer for five straight seasons - the form that won him national team caps and the attention of bigger clubs.

While he was still on loan in New York, he was linked to one of his former teams: Hapoel Tel Aviv. Now SportBILD is suggesting Maccabi Petah Tikva (the club at which he turned pro) and Maccabi Haifa are also interested in rescuing Damari from his miserable tour of RB Global Soccer.