You may recall that Thomas Rongen suggested the New York Red Bulls were interested in bringing Mario Balotelli aboard the RalfBall bandwagon. It was one of the more entertaining and short-lived transfer rumors of the summer season.
Balotelli did not land at RBNY, but he has finally left Liverpool. The news of Balotelli's (free) transfer to Nice will be of relief to the rumor mill, which was running out of clubs to suggest he might join. Now the gossip-mongers can at least take a breath to regroup before launching a fresh round of whispers whenever it is that the always-newsworthy Italian next appears unsettled.
Balotelli hasn't showed the sort of form his talent warrants for a couple of seasons now, but he is 26, not 36 - he still has several years of his career ahead of him. Nice is off to a solid start in Ligue 1: two wins and a draw to date. The team is rebuilding under Lucien Favre after being something of a victim of its own success last year, losing several key players over the summer.
Nice hasn't been a top-flight title-winner since the 1950s, but Balotelli is the sort of signing who could help the team build on last year's fourth-place finish in Ligue 1. Or he might equally fail to impress Favre, find himself yet again isolated and out of his team's plans, and be back in the RBNY rumor mix by January.