New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch says the club has not been in touch with Fiorentina striker and New Jersey native Giuseppe Rossi.
David Ruiz of FutbolMLS.com reported on Monday that sources close to Rossi announced that the New Jersey native had received a call from the Red Bulls and that the former Italian international was interested in coming back home.
Marsch denied that report on Tuesday, telling reporters at an introductory press conference for new Red Bulls Daniel Royer and Omer Damari that the club have not had contact with the Italian-American dual national.
Rossi, 29, was born and raised in New Jersey but left the US as a teenager to pursue a pro career in Europe. He started out in the academy of Serie A side Parma, eventually playing with Manchester United and Newcastle in England, making a brief return to Parma then spending six years with Villarreal before moving to Fiorentina in 2013.
Rossi, who has battled injuries throughout his career, spent last season on loan with Spanish club Levante, scoring six goals in 17 appearances as the club were relegated from La Liga.
The Red Bulls are relatively thin at striker behind Bradley Wright-Phillips. Twenty-year-old Cameroonian international Anatole Abang has not emerged as expected, though the club did sign Israeli international forward Omer Damari as a Designated Player prior to the close of the MLS transfer window last week.
Because Rossi was under contract when the MLS secondary transfer window closed last Wednesday, he wouldn’t be eligible to move to the league until the 2017 primary transfer window opens in January. He told Empire of Soccer last month that he’d “love to” return to play in the US in the future, but for now is focused on his career in Europe.
Rossi, who has seven goals in 30 career appearances with the Italian national team, is under contract with Fiorentina through the 2016-17 season. Fully healthy, he’s enjoyed a solid preseason with the Serie A club, who will begin their new campaign on August 20 against defending champions Juventus.