The Highlanders are keen to sign a head coach with experience in the ISL.

NorthEast United are looking to some familiar names to take their managerial hotseat for the next Indian Super League (ISL) season, after having an underwhelming campaign last time around.

Khel Now understands that the former Chennaiyin FC head coach John Gregory is in talks to take over as NorthEast United boss next season, scripting a new chapter in his career. The Englishman is a front-runner to take the hotseat at NorthEast due to his past success in the league.

Gregory is a highly-experienced option for the Highlanders, having guided Chennaiyin FC to the ISL title in the 2017-18 season. He also took charge of the club in their first-ever participation in the AFC Cup, where they barely missed out on qualifying for the knockout rounds.

However, the Englishman’s poor results with Chennaiyin FC last season saw him walk away from the job. He’s since been free, but seems to be keen on staying in India to build on his record in the ISL.

Khel Now also understands that the former Mumbai City FC boss Jorge Costa is the other man which is considered with the Highlanders looking at options known to have a respectable record in the ISL.

Costa was also quite successful as Mumbai City FC head coach over the last couple of years, even helping them qualify for the playoffs in the 2018-19 season. But, with the Islanders being taken over by the City Football Group, the Portuguese tactician was let go, with Sergio Lobera now set to take the helm of Mumbai City next season.

However, Costa’s salary demands are much higher than that of Gregory, which could potentially play a role in the Highlanders decision in choosing from the two.

The Highlanders are currently without a boss, with assistant coach Khalid Jamil having acted as interim head coach for their last few games in the ISL in the previous term. They had an extremely disappointing campaign last time around under Croatian boss Robert Jarni, finishing in ninth position with only two wins all season.

But, it looks like they’re aiming for a change to get competing for the playoffs once again. With Gregory and Costa both having shown the capability of guiding their team to the playoffs successfully, getting either of them can help their chances of competing at the top of the ISL next season.

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