I-League 2017: English club Blackburn Rovers express interest in signing India U-17 star Dheeraj Singh
What's the story?
India's FIFA U-17 World Cup sensation Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem has attracted the interest of English League One side and former Premier League champions Blackburn Rovers, a source close to the player has confirmed to Sportskeeda.
The player is currently a part of the Indian Arrows side in the I-League and has decided not to extend his contract with the All Indian Football Federation (AIFF), which runs out at the end of the season, amidst interest from the English side.
However, the club will be required to obtain a 'No Objection Certificate' (NOC) from the AIFF, the source added, before entering negotiations with the player.
In case you didn't know...
Dheeraj was arguably India's biggest find from the recently concluded U-17 World Cup and is already set to make his I-League debut on Wednesday against Chennai City. The youngster from Manipur produced some impressive performances between the sticks for India U-17 side and is considered to be one of India's brightest prospects.
The 17-year-old is under contract with the AIFF until the end of the year and it is based on the very same contract that the player has agreed to represent the Indian Arrows under coach Luis Norton de Matos.
The heart of the matter
The young goalkeeper is also the subject of interest of Indian Super League clubs with as many as two ISL franchises having written to the AIFF to express their interest, the source stated.
However, it remains to be seen how the AIFF responds to the various parties and who will eventually win the race to sign the youngster.
The young Indian goal-keeping sensation is the second player after Komal Thatal to garner interest from abroad and it is indeed great news for Indian football.
But Dheeraj will be concentrating on the task in hand as his side face Chennai City in their first game of the I-League season and will certainly weigh his options at the end of the year.
Dheeraj is undoubtedly one of the most promising players in India at the moment and it will be in the AIFF's best interest to help him gain all the exposure he can get, which will, in turn, help him realize his potential.