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Rumor: Nottingham Forest has "made contact" with RB Salzburg head coach Oscar Garcia

It is a measure of how curious the New York Red Bulls' off-season has become that this is possibly relevant to RBNY.

Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Nottingham Forest's decision to sack head coach Philippe Montanier did not seem like it would be of any relevance to the New York Red Bulls when it was announced on January 14. But the rumor mill works in mysterious ways.

Prior to Montanier losing his job, there was a persistent rumor that RB Salzburg head coach Oscar Garcia was about to lose his to RBNY head coach Jesse Marsch. It was a rumor the Red Bulls helped along by essentially refusing to discuss until Marsch - who had had simply been described as "in Europe meeting with Red Bull executives" - returned to tell the MLS media that he was, in fact, still the head coach of the New York branch of the Red Bull Global Soccer family. If it was that simple, why not say it before Marsch got back into town? We may never know.

It was also a rumor that took as one of its primary steps toward credibility the assertion that RB Salzburg manager Oscar Garcia was on his way to coach Malaga, thereby creating the vacancy Marsch would fill. This was a problematic statement to make on January 11 (when that news broke) because the Malaga job had been filled on December 28. Malaga had reportedly confirmed an interest in Garcia, but had also let it be known it had been thwarted by the fact Salzburg had made its head coach "untransferable" with a contract extension to 2018, no exit clause, and no desire to discuss terms of Garcia's departure.

By January 13, when a cascade of rumor-killing was unleashed by Red Bull clubs on both sides of the Atlantic, it wasn't at all clear why anyone would be circling a job both Salzburg and Garcia, reportedly, wanted Garcia to keep.

No one in soccer is really untransferable, of course. But any club wanting to poach Garcia will need to negotiate with Salzburg.

On January 15, the Nottingham Post reported Garcia was back on Nottingham Forest's radar, in a story that explained why potential candidates such as Nigel Pearson and Gary Rowett weren't likely to be interested in the taking charge of the team currently placed 20th in England's Championship.

By January 16, the Post had advanced its understanding of Forest's hunt for a new coach to a shortlist including Garcia, Kenny Jackett, Nigel Clough, and Rowett. The club was reported to have made "initial contact with Oscar Garcia's representatives". But the Post also advised that Forest might first focus on making front office appointments in a bid to assure candidates for the coaching position that the crisis-addled club is turning itself around.

A somewhat skeptical report on the rumor from advises that Garcia is at least open to a return to English football (he has managed Brighton and Hove Albion and Watford), but perhaps a club battling against relegation to the third tier of the English pyramid and with deeply unpopular ownership is not the offer that will tempt him away from his contract with Salzburg.

Presently, it seems a long-shot that Garcia will jump ship for Forest. But he is a respected coach and if this job passes him by, there will doubtless be others. And when the right job does come along, the rumor mill already has a candidate for the Salzburg position we know it wants to recommend. If Jesse Marsch doesn't want to hear questions about moving to Austria again, he'd best hope Oscar Garcia is truly committed to seeing out his contract at Salzburg.