Atletico de Kolkata have lit up the Indian Super League (ISL) since its inception in 2014 by winning the inaugural season and then repeating the feat again in 2016 by beating the Kerala Blasters in the final of the 2016 edition of the ISL. The Sourav Ganguly co-owned outfit has recently been in the news for a variety of reasons.
As things stand, the ISL franchise might not even be known as Atletico de Kolkata at all after close sources revealed that the long-standing association between Atletico Madrid and the Bengal ISL franchise has come to a screeching halt. The red and whites of Atletico Madrid had invested in the ISL back when the tournament started with the complete financial backing of the Kolkata-based club even lending the “Atletico” name and the unique red and white striped jersey. The partnership between the two continued till now without too many hiccups but as of right now, the financial commitments are said to have been not met by Atletico Madrid leading to a termination of the contract between the two clubs.
The discontinued partnership will certainly affect the Indian outfit financially but their interest in some of the top world players does not seem to have dwindled with Atletico de Kolkata yet again the main stars in transfer rumour stories. Of all the players the ISL heavyweights have been linked with, we decided to pick out the five that stand out.
#5 Siyanda Xulu
Not many Indian football fans would be well versed with the name Siyanda Xulu. But the fact of the matter is that Xulu is one of the most talented African defenders emerging in world football. The 25-year-old was last plying his trade at the Kaizer Chiefs which is a South African league club and as things appear, the relationship between player and club is seemingly in disarray. Sources reveal that a falling out with manager Steve Komphela has led to an impending exit for the Durban native and a number of clubs are vying to get the defender’s signature in due time. One of these clubs is Atletico de Kolkata who are looking to kickstart their new campaign with solidity at the back. Whether the deal transpires or not remains to be seen.