It’s all getting a bit exciting on the player front in the ISL now. Well, I suppose that’s all down to what excites you. If you’re like me and you get butterflies in your stomach when you find out that an imperious centre-half has signed a new deal which means he’ll be playing in India again next season, then this is the article for you. If not, well, that’s your problem.
Contrary to popular belief, I am not actually holed up in Bangladesh at present, although Steve will end up with a one-way ticket to Timbuktu if he carries on the way he’s going. This will be published before his, but you’ll see that he called me a wuss which is great because if you look in the dictionary, it says the definition of wuss is: noun | 1. An absolute legend (often used as a derogatory term by mistaken imbeciles). Now, that may or may not be entirely true, but when have we ever let the truth spoil a good party, eh?
Miku On His Way?
Back on point, it’s time for the weekly news round-up and we’re focusing on potential transfers, new contracts and all that jazz. We’ll start with the rumour mill before edging our way into the transfers & contract extensions that have actually happened. Miku is our first port of call.
In a very open and honest interview with ESPN following on from their defeat against Chennaiyin, he revealed all is not well…
“I have an offer from a China club. The club (BFC) don’t want to sell me. Two times, two different clubs from China (have approached me). I understand they want me here but I need to think of my family, of my future. If they (BFC) need to keep me, they need to do something to increase my budget.
“But it’s not time to think in that, it’s time to finish the season, but my management and my manager need to work on that. I’m still young. I have come to this league to enjoy this country, but in the end I am here alone. My family is in Spain. For me that’s the worst thing here because I’m alone. I don’t want to be alone more so we need to change a lot of things to continue here.”
You have to feel for him. While he may be doing a job that many of us can only dream of, it can’t be easier being that far away from your family. However, he’ll be just as far away in China so it seems like a bit of an empty assessment from the Venezuelan who finished the season with fifteen goals.
Could Coro Replace Him?
Nonetheless, if he does move on, the question will be, who will replace him? Realistically, there’s only one man for the job and that is Coro. FC Goa won’t like that and it might not happen, that being said, if I was in Roca’s shoes, that’d be who I’d want.
Delhi have appeared quite a bit in the rumour mill this week without actually getting anything done. Seityasen has been linked with a move away from Miguel Portugal’s side with Kerala as a possible destination and more surprisingly, Mirabje has been touted as a possible replacement for Marcinho at NorthEast United.
If Delhi let Mirabje go, they must have somebody amazing lined up because the Uruguayan was one of Delhi’s stand out performers last year. FC Goa’s Narayan Das has been linked to Delhi, see, we’re not all about departures from Delhi! Going back to the Mirabje rumour, he would be an excellent addition for NorthEast, although it still remains to be seen whether or not Avram Grant will be there another year.
Balwant’s Talent + Keane’s Guidance = Goals
Marcinho, similar to Mirabje, was his side’s shining star and if he moves to another club within the ISL, it’d be interesting to see how well he performs with better players around him. Another one that shocked me, Balwant is on ATK’s radar and yes it would be a good signing for ATK, you have to feel that Mumbai would be mad to let him go. Saying that Balwant’s ability under Robbie Keane’s guidance would be lethal and maybe that’s the route the Kolkata side are looking to go down, naturally, that does all depend on whether Robbie stays. If he has a successful Super Cup, I think he will.
That’s all we’ve got on the rumour mill for now, of course, there are others knocking about, these are the most prevalent at this moment in time. Now we’ll move on to the extensions and deals that have been confirmed. Some of these you will have already heard about due to this only being a weekly feature at the minute and others might catch you by surprise. Enough of the foreplay, let’s get down to it.
Steve Coppell’s Jamshedpur have wasted no time tieing down the core of their squad. Subrata, Tiri, Wellington, Farukh, Memo and Sumeet Passi have all extended their contracts with the ‘Men of Steel’ as they look to build a bit of continuity for next season.
Number One For Years To Come
As with most clubs, nothing has been announced regarding their coaching setup for next season, that’ll probably come after the Super Cup has concluded. Very good work by Jamshedpur thus far, especially when you factor in the signing of Soosairaj from Chennai City as well.
Despite losing the final against Chennaiyin, Bengaluru have been shrewd in the transfer market. While they haven’t made any signings as of yet, they have tied down Paartalu and Gurpreet on two and five-year deals respectively. Paartalu really has shone this campaign and he had a formidable partnership with Edu Garcia before he was shipped to China.
Furthermore, Gurpreet is an excellent keeper and the longevity of his contract suggests that he’ll be first choice for years to come. In a turn of events that caught me off guard, Lenny has left the ‘Blues’ and moved to FC Goa for next season; imagine if they keep hold of Coro and Lanzarote as well as having Lenny. Frightening.
Not a lot going down at Mumbai so we’ll keep this short and sweet, much like a chocolate dwarf; Gerson has departed to Japan where he’s going to playing for Renofa Yamaguchi FC. Na, me neither. To be fair, with the exception of the final side we are covering, that is your lot.
Swift Business By Chennaiyin As The Show Must Go On
No better place to finish than with the newly-crowned champions, Chennaiyin. They’ve acted swiftly to tie down key members of their title-winning side as two-goal hero Mailson and the tricky Gregory Nelson have both committed their future to the club.
Leaving the best ‘til last, arguably the best bit of business that Chennai have done has been getting John Gregory to stay on for another year. Not too sure about that picture of him with the trophy though, he looks a bit like a waxwork model. Also, crack a smile will ya John?
That’s all for this week folks. I’ll be back with you soon, dependant on what signal I can get in Bangladesh, eh Steve?
Until the next time.