The news of the English club visiting the country has spread like wildfire across the Indian football circuit.
The new season in Indian football has just commenced and the excitement for next year is already gathering pace. In some recent news, a delegation from Premier League giants Manchester United was in Kolkata, to discuss the possibility of organizing a friendly with I-League outfit East Bengal.
The delegation which visited the Salt Lake Stadium in the city was led by the club’s director of football operations, Alan Dawson.
It is believed that the official(s) did a recce of the facilities at the historic stadium and took note of the other logistical issues. The Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata is arguably the best stadium in the country and it is believed the delegation from United have been impressed with the facility.
That implies the English club could be in for a pre-season friendly game next year with local outfit East Bengal. Incidentally, East Bengal are currently celebrating a century of their existence and a game against the Red Devils could be the best gift they could get.
“East Bengal are looking to invite a big club from Europe to be part of their centenary programme. There’s a fair chance of Manchester United coming here,” a source told The Times of India.
Moreover, it is also believed that United might be planning for ‘multiple friendlies’ in India as part of their pre-season campaign.
“They are also exploring the possibility of playing another match somewhere else in India,” he went on to add.
The thought of Manchester United coming to India with their first-team squad has naturally created a lot of buzz among the Indian football fraternity and especially among the fans of East Bengal. It could be the first time since 2012, that a club of their stature have visited the country with their first-team. Seven years back, German champions Bayern Munich were in the capital of the country for a friendly with the Indian football team.
Football in the country has seen considerable growth since then. Several European clubs have had tie-ups with domestic outfits and friendlies such as these could only help develop the culture of the sport in the country.