ISL roundup: Player list for draft released, ATK target Wales international from Crystal Palace
The Indian Super League (ISL) draft is three days away, and it has been confirmed that more than 200 players will be part of the draft process. A statement on the ISL's official website read: "Hero India Super League season 2017-18 Player Draft scheduled to be held on Sunday, 23rd July in Mumbai will feature ten clubs, including the new two entrants - Jamshedpur FC and Bengaluru FC - who will vie for the finest footballers from a strong army of 200 plus Indian players."
The likes of Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Anas Edathodika and Robin Singh are the biggest draws in the domestic draft, with Lyngdoh and Anas set to earn upwards of Rs 1 crore should they be picked.
Goalkeepers Subrata Pal and Arindam Bhattacharya are among the most expensive players in the draft, another suggestion of the fact that shot-stoppers are in high demand. Pritam Kotal, Balwant Singh, Robin Singh, Lenny Rodrigues, Narayan Das and Pronay Halder make up the top ten most expensive players in the draft.
Apart from the well-known names, four 19-year-olds from FC Pune City's academy - Nijwm Muchahary, Amit Tudu, Kyntiew Shaphrang Kharlukhi and Surya Tirkey - will also be part of the draft which will start at 9 am this Sunday.
ATK chase Williams
Champions Atletico de Kolkata could be set for a surprise swoop for Wales international Jonny Williams. According to local Bengal media, the 23-year-old is being targeted as a loan signing by new ATK head coach Teddy Sheringham with inputs from the club's technical director Ashley Westwood.
Williams has been on Crystal Palace's books since the start of his career but has failed to cement a place in the Premier League side's first team so far, leading to a spate of loan moves to lower league clubs. He is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury after suffering the setback while playing for Ipswich Town in the Championship last December.
Williams had been touted as the next big thing of Welsh football but has so far failed to live up to expectations. His time at Palace has been stop-start, with loan moves to the Championship clearly not aiding the midfielder's cause.
Whether a move to India resurrects his career remains to be seen, but to rope in a current Welsh international would amount to a coup for ATK and Sheringham.
Chennaiyin sign former Brighton defender
Chennaiyin FC have confirmed the arrival of Spanish defender Inigo Calderon on a free transfer. The 35-year-old last played for Cypriot club Anorthosis Famagusta and has also played in England in the past.
Calderon spent six years at recently-promoted Premier League outfit Brighton and Hove Albion and played a key role in the Seagulls' rise to the Championship during his time at the club. He becomes Chennaiyin's first foreign signing of the season.
“I am excited about this new challenge of moving to India and playing for Chennaiyin FC. Following a conversation with John, I didn’t have to think twice about this move as I see huge potential in the Indian Super League and hope to contribute further in its growth but more importantly help the club win back the title they won two years ago,” the Spaniard expressed his delight at joining the 2015 ISL champions.