ISL 2017: FC Pune City rumoured front-runners to sign Indian U-17 star Komal Thatal
The youngster had earlier rejected moves to the I-League and abroad.
What's the story?
Indian FIFA U-17 World Cup star Komal Thatal could be all set to join the ISL 2017 bandwagon after reports suggest that FC Pune City are front-runners to sign the young forward.
Earlier, it had been reported that he had rejected an offer from a second division club in Turkey as well as a deal from I-League side Minerva Punjab FC with the ambition of playing in the ISL.
Now, the youngster is expected to join the Stallions after having being pitched to various ISL sides by his agent. When asked to confirm the development, a senior official in the Pune camp was highly ambiguous in his response, suggesting a move could be on the cards for Thatal.
In case you didn't know
He was one of India's most promising prospects ahead of the FIFA U-17 World Cup but could only start one game in the competition against the United States.
A number of Thatal's teammates from the World Cup campaign will play for the Indian Arrows in the I-League this season but the youngster was not included in the squad, which is being coached by Luis Norton de Matos.
The heart of the matter
Sources have suggested that Thatal had his eyes set on a move to the Indian Super League and turned down multiple offers from the I-League and even abroad.
Minerva Punjab FC CEO Ranjit Bajaj stated on Twitter that his side had approached the Sikkim-born youngster and promised a minimum of 10 games to him. However, his agent categorically stated that he is only interested in playing in the ISL.
The Pune side are likely to win the race to sign Thatal and it remains to be seen if a deal is reached in the near future.
A move to a high profile ISL club will be a big step forward for the youngster but there will certainly be concerns about how much game time he will get.