The silly season has begun for the New York Red Bulls and the first name on the list is Kevin Prince-Boateng, who Metro New York has learned is strongly linked with a move to MLS.
According to a league source, the Red Bulls have placed a discovery claim on Boateng, a member of Ghana's national team and currently on the books of German club F.C. Schalke. The discovery mechanism, utilized by teams to lay claim to a player not in MLS that they may (or may not) have future interest in, signifies that the team could be getting ready to make a plunge for the player.
Currently 28-years old, Boateng fits the model of the Red Bulls and what they would want in a designated player. He's very much in the prime of his career, mobile enough to play the press system and would be a building block for now as well as the future.
In terms of how serious the team is about Boateng, the source would only say that there has been some level of discussion on coming to the league and possibly signing a contract, but he would not delve into specifics. But there is a belief that the player is a legitimate target of the Red Bulls.
With regards to his fit on the field, Boateng can play centrally in the midfield as well as in a forward role. He would be seen as an ideal fit to deliver the ball to Bradley Wright-Phillips, the league's top scorer last year. Boeteng has a strong workrate as well.
Boateng would address the need for some spark in the midfield. Theoretically, his insertion into the starting lineup could result in Sacha Kljestan being moved into a winger role where he would be isolated on the sideline and would be allowed to take players on one-on-one.
The move makes sense for Boateng not just financially, as he would be a designated player, but also for his personal life. The German-born midfielder is engaged to American model Melissa Satta, who would be able to move back to the United States were he to sign with the Red Bulls.
Boateng has represented Ghana 15 times and has played for major European clubs such as Tottenham, Borussia Dortmund and Milan.
If signed by the Red Bulls, he would join during the summer transfer window.