ISL 2017: Top 5 star footballers who could make shock ISL moves on transfer deadline day
Will any of these five players join an ISL club by today's deadline?
With the Indian Super League set to undergo a major makeover this year with the introduction of two new teams and an extended schedule, the composition of the ten teams has also undergone tweaks this year. While the domestic draft ensured that all the franchises remain on the same page as regards Indian players, foreign signings haven't been as flashy as the previous years.
However, there is still some way to go before the 2017-18 ISL kicks off on 17th November and teams still have enough time in their hands to fill their quota of eight foreign players. Until now, 49 foreign players have been roped in by ISL clubs, with 31 signings still to be completed. That said, today is the deadline for ISL clubs to sign contracted players, while the market is always open for free agents to move.
Among those 49 players signed, only a handful - Dimitar Berbatov, Robbie Keane, Wes Brown - have been stars at the absolute elite level, while most of the overseas arrivals are little-known outside the leagues they have played in.
However, all is not lost for Indian football fans who wish to see some of the best international stars strutting their stuff on Indian pitches and here are the five star foreign players who could still end up being part of the ISL next season and could even join before today's deadline.
#1 Diego Forlan
The Uruguayan former World Cup Golden Ball winner was a real joy to watch last season as he guided Mumbai City FC to their first semi-final appearance in the ISL last season. The 38-year-old might seem a spent force, but his five goals in ISL 2016 were as important to Mumbai City as his five goals at the 2010 World Cup for Uruguay.
Forlan has been linked with a return to India this summer amid reports of him moving to Sandefjord in Norway. Mumbai City were believed to gazump the Norwegian club's offer but nothing has materialised so far, with Sandefjord now out of the race. Whether the former Manchester United man returns to India for a second spell is anyone's guess, but talks are definitely going on behind the scenes.