Khel Now reveals the retained list of all Indian Super League clubs for the 2017-18 season. . .

With the fourth Indian Super League (ISL) season set to begin later this year, there are some obvious changes expected in the cash-rich league. With the addition of a Tata Group-owned side from Jamshedpur and JSW Group’s Bengaluru FC, the participants have increased to 10. With AFC slots looming large over the three-year-old League, ISL is rumoured to implement the five-foreigner per team rule with one slot for the Asian quota. 

In one of the most shocking changes after three seasons of good, positive football, IMG-Reliance is close to implementing the players’ draft for the upcoming season. Some clubs are reportedly unhappy with the new system to be implemented. Before the draft takes place, every club is allowed to retain just two players. The third choices, too, have been included below. Under-21s and development players contracted by clubs can be retained autonomously. Herein, all the retained players have been provided by sources close to the developments.

Two-time champions Atletico de Kolkata have retained the services of the in-form goalkeeper and local favourite Debjit Majumder alongside versatile right-back Prabir Das. 

Southern heavyweights Kerala Blasters have retained their ‘own’ and hugely followed player like CK Vineeth and talismanic defender Sandesh Jhingan. The centre-back is known to command a huge following in the Manjappada fan base. Fellow South Indian club Chennaiyin FC has retained the services of prolific striker Jeje Lalpekhlua and former National team No. 1 Karanjit Singh.

Geographically opposite side Delhi Dynamos have kept a clean slate, going without any retentions. The club have also stayed low in the transfer market so far, not signing any foreigners. It is baffling to see such tendency of a club which reached the semi-finals last season under Gianluca Zambrotta. The clean-slate strategy might be a major repercussion for the Delhi Dynamos side. The club had discussions with Anas and Souvik Chakraborty, but incoming manager Miguel Angel Portugal decided to go fresh. 

Last season’s table toppers of the league Mumbai City FC have kept Amrinder Singh after a good season with them last year, quite logically. The Mumbaikars have also retained defensive midfielder, Sehnaj Singh. State rivals FC Pune City have only retained Vishal Kaith, who was under contract with Shillong Lajong FC.  

Footballing hotbeds NorthEast United FC have retained controversial goalkeeper TP Rehenesh and lanky defensive midfielder Rowlin Borges. Both players are known to have a good following on the hills. FC Goa continues their romance with youth with Mandar Rao Dessai expected to be the only outfield to be retained. Alongside Colaco, goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani is also expected to stay put.  

New entrants Bengaluru FC will put their pride in National hero Sunil Chhetri and consistent and winger Udanta Singh*, giving their home fans a continued flavour of quality football. Franchise owned by Tata group, another new entrant from Jamshedpur, is expected to get the first 2 picks in the draft and will opt for an Indian international striker and a goalkeeper.



*Story updated as per latest developments 07th July 2017.