Despite the Indian Super League (ISL) final being held under closed doors due to the coronavirus scare, the clubs have not wasted any time roping in fresh talents for their rosters.
Most of the clubs are active in the hunt for new players and the newly formed ATK-Mohun Bagan are no different. The RPSG-owned club, known for i proactive presence in the transfer market, are already linked to several names in the ISL and I-League.
While the current ISL champions made a total revamp to their side before the last season, they are most likely to retain the core for the next term. The early indications of the same came out recently when star midfielder Edu Garcia agreed to a two-year contract extension.
Even if the Kolkata outfit do not splash out as much money as they did last year, they will surely tweak the minute flaws that existed in the system.
Here, we will look at five players the ISL champions might sign next season.
#5 Sheikh Sahil (Mohun Bagan)
When Mohun Bagan join hands with ATK, it was clear that most of Bagan's players will be out in search of a new club. Sheikh Sahil is one among the very few players who will probably make the cut for the ISL club.
The 19-year-old, who primarily operates as a defensive midfielder, was one of the most prominent figures in Mohun Bagan's league title run. Sahil played all 16 matches for the side this season, starting 13 and coming off the banch 3 times.
Despite playing just in front of the defence and providing cover for the stopper-backs, the teenager showcased exceptional discipline and had only two bookings to his name the entire season. Subsequently, the Mohun Bagan Academy product was regarded as one of the brightest prospects in Indian football by experts.
Though ATK have names like Pronay Halder and Sehanj Singh with prior experience to take up the defensive midfielder role, Sahil will be in for a break in his career if the move goes through. He will certainly try to follow the footsteps of Sumit Rathi, who was awarded the ISL Emerging Player of the Season award after ATK's title triumph last season.
#4 Subha Ghosh (Mohun Bagan)
Another player from Mohun Bagan strongly linked to the ISL club is striker Subha Ghosh. The 19-year-old, who rose through the ranks of The Mariners' academy was promoted to the first-team this season.
Despite not starting a single game, Ghosh scored three goals, all as a second-half substitute. The striker's killer instincts are evident from the fact that all his goals came in the dying minutes of the game.
However, a move to Habas' side will make first-team opportunities limited for Ghosh as the club have numerous other players to pay in his position. On a developmental note, the transfer will do the striker a lot good, including a possible stint with the Reserves.
#3 Glan Martins (Churchill Brothers)
Glan Martins is a midfielder who plied his trade for Churchill Brothers in this season of the I-League. The 25-year-old operates at the centre of the park, with an instinct to move forward into attacking positions and set up offensive moves.
After a spell at the USL Pro Combine in Florida, Martins joined Sporting Club de Goa in 2014 and played 13 I-League games in two seasons. In 2019, he signed for Churchill Brothers and played a pivotal role in their midfield.
It is undoubtedly his impressive season with the Goan club that has attracted interest from Kolkata. Having a midfielder of Martins' passing range will certainly aid manager Antonio Habas' attacking gameplay. But the player might have to wait a long time to display his talents on the big stage, given the number of midfielders in ATK-Mohun Bagan's current roster.
#2 Subhasish Bose (Mumbai City FC)
Subhasish Bose is one of the most expected arrivals at Kolkata before the next season. The defender, who was part of Mumbai City FC in the ISL for two seasons, will be a primary choice in defence if signed.
The 24-year-old played all 18 games for The Islanders last season and gave many strong performances at the left-back position. Subhasish's ability to play in the heart of the defence when required makes him a worthy purchase.
The Indian international is likely to join Pritam Kotal in ATK's backline. It has to be seen whether Habas replaces Sumit Rathi in the back-three or tweaks his current system to deploy a four-man defence to accommodate Bose.
#1 Manvir Singh (FC Goa)
Manvir began his career with the Minerva Punjab Academy and later joined Mohammedan SC in 2016. The following year, he made a move to ISL by signing for FC Goa, which didn't turn out to be a fruitful one for the player in the long run.
He started only seven games for Goa during his three seasons there and spent a crucial time of his career warming the benches. In his 47 ISL appearances, Manvir has scored three goals, with two of them coming in the 2019/20 season.
A move out of FC Goa will do the Indian international much good, but a stern challenge awaits for the striker at Kolkata too. He will have to overcome stiff competition from Michael Soosairaj, Jobby Justin and Balwant Singh, if all of them don the ATK-Mohun Bagan colours yet again next season.