ISL player draft has witnessed two players getting rupees one-crore contracts as ten teams are bidding to pick team from a 205-strong pool. A total of 134 players will be drafted.
Indian midfield Eugeneson Lyngdoh and full back Anas Edathodika are the top picks, both winning the bids above rupees one crore. Both were tipped to be the most expensive players for the draft.
Atletico de Kolkata has acquired Lingdoh, who played for Bengaluru FC in I-League, for Rs 1.1 crore. Bengaluru FC, the JSW-owned Bengaluru club who have acquired ISL rights, are going to miss their star midfielder.
“I will miss Eugenson and I wish him all the best. I don’t understand the marquee player thing. I won’t celebrate if I score against Mumbai FC,” said Sunil Chhetri of Bengaluru FC.
Chhetri is with the Bengaluru club for an undisclosed amount.
“We cannot have all the players. We are disappointed that we couldn’t keep few players. We pick players who are best for the time,” added coach Albert Roca on the club losing out one of their key team member.
Edathodika goes to one of the two ISL entrants Jamshedpur FC. The Tatas-owned club acquired the Delhi Dynamos star defender for Rs 1.1 crore. Tatas also made a successfully Rs 87 crore bid for the star defender. This happens to be the second highest bid till.
Lyngdoh, Edathodika and Paul went for their contract values, with no challenge to the opening bids.
Lyngdoh, who was initially not retained by Bengaluru FC, was involved in negotiations with FC Pune City but ultimately failed to agree on a deal while Edathodika’s wage demands put Delhi Dynamos off, who decided not to negotiate with the Kerala-born defender and go into the draft without retaining any player.
Incidentally, Dynamos have retained none of its players. Jamshedpur, too, did not retain any player.
Each club was entitled to retain two senior and two under-21 players. Among other clubs, Pune City retained Vishal Kant and Ashique Kuruniyan (U-21); Kerala Blaster struck deals with CK Vineeth, Sandesh Jhingan and Prashanth Karuthadathkuni (U-21); Debjit Majumdar and Prabir Das agreed to stay with Kolkata; Bengaluru had retained Chhetri, Udanta Singh, Nishu Kumar (U-21) and Malsawmzula (U-21); FC Goa had stayed with Laxmikant Kattimani and Mandar Rao Dessai; Mumbai FC grabbed Amrinder Singh, Sehnaj Singh and Rakesh Oram (U-21) outside the draft.
Arindam Bhattacharya went to Mumbai FC for his base price of Rs 64 lakh, but the club will also have to pay a Rs 9 lakh transfer fee to FC Pune City.
The salary cap for each team (both Indian and foreign players) has been set at ₹18 Crores and only a maximum of ₹12.5 Crores can be utilised to sign overseas players and the teams.