Mario Gomez spent a couple of rather frustrating, injury-stricken seasons with Fiorentina between 2013 and 2015, drifting out of the Germany squad and into a series of persistent rumors linking him with a move to...well, anywhere but Fiorentina really, but MLS was in the mix for a while.
Such talk died down after Gomez was loaned out to Besiktas in Turkey's top flight - and the forward revived his reputation: finishing the 2015-16 as the Turkish Super Lig's top scorer and helping his club to its first title in seven years. And Gomez has since drifted back into the thinking of his national team, scoring a couple of goals in Germany's ongoing run in Euro 2016.
Fair to say that Gomez is a hot commodity again. He is still under contract with Fiorentina, and Besiktas has an option to buy - but reports suggesting talks with his Turkish club have broken down have also inspired the rumor mill to kick into gear. West Ham has been mentioned as a suitor. So too was Espanyol, though the Spanish club is said to have been priced out of the hunt.
And now MLS has allegedly thrown its hat into the ring. Calciomercato.com reports that a yet-to-be-named MLS team has offered Gomez a contract worth close to $9 million per year. There is a catch, however: the same outlet reports the MLS team wants Gomez for free from Fiorentina. (Another catch: Besiktas might not be out of the hunt at all.)
Calciomercato.com believes La Viola is willing to sell Gomez (valued at north of $5 million, the site suggests - which is a bargain for a player of his pedigree), but not give him away.
So perhaps this alleged MLS interest will be shortlived, particularly with an EPL club circling.
Which MLS team could it be? Probably not the New York Red Bulls: Gomez will turn 31 in mid-July, and doesn't fit the investment (future sale potential) or wage (no multi-million dollar conracts) profile the club seems to favor in its RalfBall era.
So we note this rumor with some interest, but no great expectation that Gomez is on RBNY's radar.
Oh...before we go, a point of information: Mario Gomez used to be represented by Oliver Mintzlaff, who is now the head of Red Bull Global Soccer, and a regular visitor to RBNY. And the striker got his start as a pro at Stuttgart - a club influential in Ralf Rangnick's career, and the former employer of Jochen Schneider, now RB Global Soccer Coordinator. So if RBNY were able to persuade Papa to break the bank for an older - but seemingly rejuvenated - player...stop it: he's going to West Ham. Or Besiktas. Maybe.