The Red and Gold are inching closer to gaining entry into the Indian Super League.

Ever since East Bengal have managed to rope in new investors, they have been linked with several high-profile football personnel over the last week. 

The Red and Gold, who are currently in their 100th year, are on the lookout for a head coach and also the foreign contingent, as they battle-ready themselves for the Indian Super League. Their hunt for a good head coach has gone viral and top minds like Sven Goran Eriksson, Jose Pekerman, Robbie Fowler and Eusebio Sacristan have all applied for the head coach’s job. 

The Red and Gold management are currently weighing their options and looking for the right man for the job. Meanwhile, former Indian national team head coach Stephen Constantine and last season’s head coach Mario Rivera are also very much in the race. New investors Shree Cement Pvt. Ltd. are elated with the news of top coaches applying for the job. 

East Bengal are set to become the 11th team in the Indian Super League this season, as it was clear that the consortium they formed with Shree Cement were the only bidders to enter the ISL this season. 

“More than 10 foreign coaches, who are famous footballing minds, have already mailed their CVs,” a source told The Telegraph. “The management though is yet to take a final call on the new coach. The investors are happy that famous names have shown their interest in becoming East Bengal’s coach. They are now waiting for the official announcement of East Bengal’s entry into ISL. Once that happens, the management will zero in on the coach,” the source informed.

Speaking about the pedigree of the aforementioned coaches, Eriksson is probably the most experienced tactician. The Swede has managed top clubs like Benfica, Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio, Manchester City and so on, but his most high-profile stint was with the England national team. 

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Pekerman also comes with tons of experience, albeit in international football. He was the former Argentina manager in 2006 and also guided Colombia to two World Cups (2014 and 2018) as their head coach. 

Next up is Spanish tactician Sacristan, who learned the ropes under Frank Rijkaard and then under Pep Guardiola for a short while. He has managed clubs like Girona, Celta Vigo, Real Sociedad and plied his trade as an assistant manager at FC Barcelona.  

Lastly, former England International and Liverpool great Robbie Fowler is also interested to become the next East Bengal head coach. Fowler was managing A-League outfit Brisbane Roar previously, as they finished a respectable fourth in the league table. However, despite having another year on his contract the club relieved him of his duties. Therefore, he is eager to prove himself as a coach in a new setup. 

It is also understood that once the coach is finalized, foreign players will be gradually recruited. “After a series of meetings between club officials and representatives of the investors, it was decided that the coach would be given a free hand in the signing of players,” the source continued.

However, the area where the tension lies has to be with the players who have already been signed by the club management before they joined forces with their new investors. Therefore, all the players won’t find themselves part of the upcoming setup. The club management have sent video footage of the players and now it will be the coach’s discretion with regard to who stays or leaves. 

“The new coach will be mailed video footage of the already signed players. It would be the new coach’s discretion whom to keep and who would be shown the door,” the source concluded. 

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