ISL 2017: ISL club in the hunt for former Champions League winner Goran Pandev
With all Indian Super League (ISL) clubs busy preparing for the domestic player draft, last season’s semi-finalists Delhi Dynamos have set about bolstering their ranks with a decorated foreign signing.
According to reports, former Champions League and Club World Cup winner with Inter Milan, Goran Pandev is attracting interest from the Lions.
A source close to the player revealed: “Goran is waiting to hear from Genoa whether they offer him new terms after the expiry of his contract. He is keeping himself in peak condition even during the close season and interested clubs are taking notice of that. We have offers from Italy and interest from India. Goran, being a professional, will continue to keep working and is ready to experience the unknown, should the interest from India become concrete and desperate. One thing is certain that with Goran, clubs will have a champion on and off the pitch”
Although he didn’t mention the club, it is believed that Delhi Dynamos are the interested club.
Pandev last played at Genoa in the Italian Serie A before his contract with the Liguria-based club ended last month. He joined Genoa from Galatasaray in 2015 and made 39 appearances in two seasons, scoring seven goals.
He is Macedonia’s all-time top scorer with 29 goals in 85 matches and won the Champions League in 2009/10 under current Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho at Inter. The five-time Macedonian Footballer of the Year has a keen eye for goal and would add value to any ISL club, not least Delhi Dynamos.
Delhi Dynamos have roped in Miguel Angel Portugal as their new head coach for the upcoming ISL season, and the Spaniard has quickly set about trying to bring in players of his choice. With Florent Malouda’s future at Delhi Dynamos yet unknown, Pandev looks like an able replacement, or partner, for the 37-year-old former France international.
The domestic player draft in the ISL is set to come about later this month, with all clubs figuring out the Indian players they will retain for the coming campaign. Next season’s ISL will see two new teams added to the roster, with Bengaluru FC and a Tata Steel-owned club being the new entrants.
Dynamos finished third in the league phase of ISL-3 and scored the most number of goals, but they were halted by Kerala Blasters in the semi-finals. With Angel Portugal at the helm and aiming for players with European pedigree, the Lions will look to secure their first ISL title next season.