ISL 2017: Kerala Blasters sign ex-Manchester United star Wes Brown and close in on Berbatov
Kerala Blasters are on the verge of completing two massive transfers in the form of Dimitar Berbatov and Wes Brown. The two of them won the Premier League with Manchester United during Alex Ferguson's time at the club and are set to reunite with another of United's former coaching staff member, Rene Meulensteen, at Kerala Blasters.
Talks with Berbatov had seemingly hit a roadblock following the striker's steep wage demands but it is believed that a consensus is close to being reached between the two parties. As regards Brown, the club have confirmed the signing now.
Talks with Brown are at an advanced stage and he is almost confirmed to join Kerala Blasters while negotiations with Berbatov are still ongoing, said our sources in the know of developments.
Meulensteen has worked with both Berbatov and Brown at Manchester United and is well-acquainted with the duo. Brown's agents, SFX Sports, have already seen a number of their clients move to the ISL in the past, with Robbie Keane's move to ATK earlier this month being the most high-profile of the lot. Michael Chopra and Graham Stack are SFX players, while former Premier League title winner Joleon Lescott also attracted ATK's interests earlier in the transfer window.
Brown spent 19 years of his professional career at Manchester United. He came through the ranks at the club and won five Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues with the Red Devils. Upon departing the Old Trafford outfit in 2011, he joined Sunderland and played at Championship club Blackburn Rovers last season.
Both Brown and Berbatov are free agents but are on the wrong side of their 30s. While both players will add a lot more glamour and raise the profile of the ISL as well as Kerala Blasters, the investment in experienced and battle-hardened professionals like Brown could be a sound one.
As things stand, the club have signed one and are chasing one and the latter deal most likely to be announced before the end of this week.
That said, should the Blasters rope in both Berbatov and Brown, they will be automatically elevated to one of the major title contenders for next season's new-look ISL.