RB Leipzig's Omer Damari is being lined up for a loan move to New York Red Bulls. We know this because just about every conceivable outlet with an interest in such a story has reported it. And because Ralf Rangnick has confirmed that such a deal is in the works to Leipziger Volkzeitung.
But Rangnick also told LVZ's Anne Grimm that he wasn't too worried about whether Damari moves to New York or not, promising the well-compensated forward as much reserve team football as he can handle at Leipzig if the RBNY deal doesn't happen.
Is there a snag? Any sense of "delay" should be tempered by the awareness that there is a difference between when news gets out and what is actually happening out of sight. RB Leipzig and RBNY are under no obligation to report the details of any deal that isn't final. As far as we know, everything might be going exactly as all parties expect. Right down to the timing of any official announcement.
But the MLS transfer window will close on August 3, taking with it any opportunity for Damari to be parachuted in to RBNY. And Rangnick's comments to LVZ did imply that there is still very much a chance that the deal does not get done. And there is the memory of this winter's failed Tim Sebastian transfer. And, for those with longer memories, RBNY's flubbed effort to sign Kaka.
Fear not. A source with an understanding of the situation tells Once A Metro that Damari is in fact on his way to New York with his representation. That would be one good reason no announcement has been made: Damari isn't yet here for the traditional jersey-and-handshake photograph to accompany the press release.
The player's initial preference, we are told, was for a return to Hapoel Tel Aviv - the club at which he proved himself a high-volume goal scorer. But that move is not an option. So Damari is on a plane to NYC.
And, despite Rangnick's don't-care-either-way comments to LVZ, OaM is told "Leipzig is really pushing [the deal]."
Such news casts the Leipzig Sporting Director's recent words in a slightly different light. Perhaps when he says "even if he stays with us, he can play in the second team", Rangnick is not so much saying he doesn't really mind what happens, but gently highlighting Damari's options: take the loan to RBNY, or play for the reserves in Leipzig.
New York is not an unattractive place to live and work. Also, when Damari moved to Vienna, he indicated the Jewish community in the city was an important part of his settling in and feeling at home. He'll find a larger community in New York.
Leipzig wants this deal to happen. RBNY wants "attacking help". Damari needs a fresh start and would prefer an environment that offers at least some of the comforts of his increasingly distant home. Per OaM's source: "I doubt [the deal] will fall through."
No deal is final until it is announced as such. But Papa's global Red Bull soccer family is working to make this one happen.