The Highlands are set to ward off stiff competition from their league rivals for the versatile midfielder.

Indian Super League strugglers NorthEast United are close to landing Chennai City star Edwin Sydney Vanpaul, Khel Now understands. In spite of several competitors, the Highlanders are the closest to acquiring the services of the southern star.

Even before the inaugural Super Cup had ended, the domestic transfer market was in full swing. A season of wonders saw Minerva Punjab and Chennaiyin fc win the I-League and ISL respectively.  Now, the former has become a feeder league for the latter. The I-League saw several eye-catching talents. They impressed not just the fans, but have also drawn suitors from the cash-rich league.

This transfer window has seen a string of talented I-League youngsters making their way to the more glamorous ISL. The latest addition to the list is the lad from Chennai. The versatile midfielder had a memorable season with Chennai City, featuring in 18 matches. The Neyveli born player was instrumental to his side’s escape from relegation. A successful season for the midfielder reaped rich rewards as he saw many offers from the ISL.


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However, the southern side were waiting for the right offer for their big player. They went through a series of offers from NorthEast United, ATK and Jamshedpur FC. But, the Highlanders are  closest to sealing the signature of the player, Khel Now sources confirmed.

The move will make him the third Chennai player to be signed by an ISL team this season and fourth in two seasons from the Coimbatore-based team. In two seasons, Chennai have already given some effective players to Indian football. Rightfully so, the southern side have become a pipeline for Tamil Nadu-based players to enter the ISL.

On the flip side, NEUFC had a season to forget as they finished last in the standings with just 11 points in 18 games. Going into the new season, the Guwahati-based side will be looking to change fortunes. Roping in Vanspaul means they will add stability to their midfield. The 25-year-old also brings versatility to the table with his ability to play across the middle of the park.