Former Premier League and Champions League winner in talks over ISL move
After injury played spoilsport in Eidur Gudjohnsen’s Indian adventure last year, the 38-year-old Icelandic legend is all set to come down to India once again, this time for the upcoming season of the Indian Super League (ISL).
Total Football Iceland, the agency that handles Gudjohnsen among many other Icelandic footballers, stated that the former Premier League winner with Chelsea is keen to play in India after last year’s injury-blighted campaign. “Eidur [Gudjohnsen] is open for a move to India,” said Magnus Agnar Magnusson, founder of Total Football.
However, one sticking point in Gudjohnsen’s move to an ISL club is the fact that the popular franchise league is set to scrap its mandatory marquee signing rule, thus allowing clubs to forego the expense involved with roping in a celebrity football star. Gudjohnsen signed up for FC Pune City last season but had to return home for rehabilitation during pre-season after sustaining a training ground injury. He has since played very little football of note, having turned out for Iceland at last summer’s European Championship in France.
Gudjohnsen's ISL move hinges on the willingness of the league’s clubs to have the 2009 Champions League winner within their ranks. As such, very few clubs have been in touch with Gudjohnsen at the moment. The player’s previous ISL employers, FC Pune City, are looking at the possibility of re-signing the experienced forward, according to Magnusson.
“Only FC Pune City has been in touch with Eidur,” he said.
With two more teams set to be added to the 2017-18 ISL, players like Gudjohnsen should’ve been full of suitors, but the new rules aimed at improving the level of the Indian players mean that his move to India isn’t set in stone.
Pune City endured another forgettable ISL campaign last year and once again failed to make the top four. Whether Gudjohnsen’s availability last season could’ve helped matters is anybody’s guess, but the opportunity of having a player of the Icelandic’s pedigree is something that ISL clubs will not easily let pass.
As things stand, Pune City are in front of the queue to pick up Gudjohnsen, but things will stand to change once the two new teams are announced. The announcement is scheduled for today and Gudjohnsen’s availability has already alerted a host of clubs, not least the new ISL clubs.