Red Bull Salzburg continues to play rumor-mill whack-a-mole (whack-a-rumor?) with great proficiency. In the last month, Papa Red Bull's Austrian club has been besieged by the rumor mill's conviction that head coach Oscar Garcia is on his way to a new gig.
Before the turn of the year, it did indeed appear likely that Garcia would be heading to Spain to manage Malaga. But Salzburg rallied, the threat was averted, and by December 28, Kurier's Stephan Blumenschein was providing an account of the club's position: Garcia's contract had been extended to 2018 in the summer; the coach had set himself the target of seeing it through (to become the longest-serving head coach at Salzburg since the Red Bull takeover); there is no exit clause in Garcia's contract, so any question of leaving has to be agreed - presumably with a fee - by the club.
A Sport.es report advised Malaga had decided Salzburg had made Garcia "untransferable".
The rumor mill decided to test that hypothesis. By January 11, there were reports from America that New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch was heading to Austria to take Garcia's job - because Garcia was going to take the job in Malaga.
What's that? Yes, the same Malaga job that had been filled about two weeks prior - do keep up.
Salzburg brought the hammer down on the story on both sides of the Atlantic. Empire of Soccer got told a familiar tale: Garcia is a successful coach for Salzburg; he has 18 months on his contract; not a guy the club wants to release. LAOLA1 got Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund to be even more blunt:
I am surprised that this rumor exists
He went on to crush the Malaga rumor again:
He has told us that he wants to stay...there has never been any contact with Malaga...Oscar is motivated for the spring.
(There has been) no official approach and we don't think about letting Oscar Garcia leave.
Throw in the now-standard "successful coach/18-month contract" and you have another textbook example of Salzburg Garcia-rumor whacking.
Getting good at this Salzburg, congrats.