Silly season has been upon us for at least a week now, and the New England Revolution have their first big-name out-of-nowhere rumor of the winter. According to (somewhat sketchy) reports, Robinho is once again on the radar in Foxboro.
This is a rumor that first popped up back in May, when Robinho was seeking a way out of a tough situation at AC Milan. He eventually went on loan to Santos FC in Brazil, the club where he got his start.
One report from Spanish-language publication Eju! points out that Atlas and Tigres in Liga MX appear to be front-runners to sign the Brazilian international, with the Revs once considered the favorites but now out of the lead. That report also puts his transfer price tag at around $8 million. Have to send credit to Juan Arango for finding that piece.
A second report gets juicier, this one from Portuguese-language site Soccerazo. The Mexican clubs are mentioned, but this one says that the Revs have recently stepped into the race, which is a little different than the above report. Perhaps more importantly, it says that "Jermaine Jones' team" is apparently very keen on bringing in Robinho to account for Lee Nguyen's possible exit.
It's difficult to sort fact from speculation here. Robinho has been linked to the Revs before, which lends some weight to the rumors, but he never got to New England then and even that rumor seemed tenuous, so perhaps not. MLS is also low-hanging fruit for transfer speculation involving players around 30 or older needing a career kick-start. Plus, there's the whole Brazil/Portugal connection with Boston, the South Shore, the Cape, and East Bay Rhode Island.
All in all, this isn't the strongest rumor, and anyone hoping for that blockbuster signing probably shouldn't hold their breath. Furthermore, both reports mention Atlas and Tigres of Mexico, and one of them thinks it's most likely he ends up at one of those clubs.
Until and unless more details come out, we're filing this one under "unlikely at best."
Editor's Note: Fixed a reading comp error that said Jermaine Jones himself was interested in Robinho, which was apparently not what was written in the Portuguese article.