East Bengal and Kerala Blasters fight for Real Kashmir’s Bilal Khan
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
The Real Kashmir shot-stopper was awarded the Golden Glove last season in the I-League.
Their season might’ve ended prematurely before the Super Cup, but East Bengal and Kerala Blasters are both looking to solve their issues well before the next campaign begins. Both the sides are currently looking to reinforce their last line of defence, wanting to sign top quality goalkeepers to help avoid any errors next season.
East Bengal are vividly hunting for a new goalkeeper to replace Rakshit Dagar, Khel Now has learnt. The Red and Gold Brigade have been criticized for years because of their poor goalkeeping choices and Dagar’s poor performances in key matches last season convinced Alejandro Menendez to look for a top quality shot-topper. According to a source close to the developments, Real Kashmir’s Bilal Khan is the top priority for the I-League giants.
The former Gokulam Kerala goalkeeper was named the Best Goalkeeper of the I-League 2018/19 season and also won the Golden Glove for keeping the most number of clean-sheets. Khan kept 10 clean-sheets and helped the Snow Leopards gain some crucial points and finish the season in third position. Now, as his contract expires with Kashmir, Menendez’s side want to capture him.
However, they’re not only on the commanding goalkeeper’s trail, as Kerala Blasters are also vying for his services. After allowing Naveen Kumar to leave for FC Goa, the Blasters want a reliable figure to guard their posts next season. However, the ISL side have also signed Indian Arrows’ goalkeeper Lovepreet Singh, possibly softening up their chase for the Real Kashmir man. East Bengal are intent on signing the I-League star, but are set for a real fight with the Blasters for the services of the celebrated goalkeeper.
Their second priority is Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, who only signed with Kerala Blasters last season. The 18-year-old goalkeeper made 13 appearances for the Yellow Brigade, displaying some really impressive performances and maintaining his rise as the future #1 of the Indian national team. Menendez’s been impressed with the youngster’s work and is interested in signing him to bolster his goalkeeping options.
If they can’t get a deal done for Bilal Khan, they will move for Dheeraj and there’s a good chance that a deal could be done with Kerala Blasters for the same.
Published: Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:02 PM IST