ISL 2018: Kerala Blasters favourites to sign Anas Edathodika; ATK Jamshedpur FC also in the running
With the ISL season over, the race is on among the clubs, to sign the top players. One of the star players who are on the radar of multiple clubs is national team centreback Anas Edathodika.
The 31-year-old, who is plying his trade in Jamshedpur FC, is said to be courting offers from both Kerala Blasters and ATK. Even Jamshedpur are said to be keen on offering him a contract extension.
The Kerala man had impressed one and all with his performances for Delhi Dynamos last season, and had replaced East Bengal's Arnab Mondal as Indian football team head coach Stephen Constantine's regular centreback, alongside Sandesh Jhingan.
Now, Kerala Blasters manager David James is said to have set his eyes on the Anas-Jhingan combination at the heart of his defence for the upcoming season.
Anas' abilities have impressed the Kerala boss so much, that the Blasters have already tabled a two-year contract for the India centre-back, with an option for an extension, depending on the will of the player, it has been learnt by Sportskeeda.
The 31-year-old, who himself hails from Kerala, is also said to be keen on a return to his native state, after a disappointing season with Jamshedpur, where he made only eight appearances as his season was marred by injuries.
Kerala, on the other hand, have also had a woeful season. They have looked unstable at the back, shipping 22 goals in 18 matches. A mid-season change of coaches saw Sir Alex Ferguson's former assistant at Manchester United Rene Meulensteen being replaced by former Liverpool and Manchester City keeper David James.
Although Kerala managed to string together a few points after James' arrival, they failed to make the cut for the top-four spots, which would have earned them a spot in the semifinals.
However, one positive for the season is that a sixth-placed finish in the league earned Kerala a direct entry into the Round of 16 stage of the Super Cup, which is set to get underway on March 31. The Blasters are set to face NEROCA FC on April 6, in their opening fixture.