The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bhaichung looks at Singapore
- Key striker exploring foreign options again

Calcutta: Bhaichung Bhutia is once again exploring foreign options and if things go well, he may well turn out for a club in Singapore in the coming season. The Mohun Bagan and India striker is confident that things work out in his favour.

“Talks have reached an encouraging stage and I am very hopeful of signing up with them. The final stamp is still expected, but I think it will done in the near future,” said the star striker on Monday.

Bhutia didn’t disclose the name of the club because of confidentiality, but it is understood to be a top-flight team in Singapore’s premier division.

Bhutia spent three seasons with English second division outfit Bury FC before returning to India last season.

The former India captain doesn’t rule out a return to India during the National League, as the season in Singapore is likely to be over by end-October.

If he does come to India, Bhutia may have the luxury of choosing between East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and even JCT.

After the disappointment of the season that just got over, Mohun Bagan are trying to form a strong squad and start afresh. They have already roped in Salgaocar’s Manipuri trio of Tomba Singh, Manitombi Singh and Dharamjeet Singh.

Apart from confirming Jose Ramirez Barreto for one more stint, Mohun Bagan have roped in Vasco’s Brazilian striker Marcos Perreira.

Dempo’s India midfielder Samir Naik is also a strong possibility, while another international Rennedy Singh is strongly favoured to remain with the three-time National League champions.

The club officials are expected to sit with the players over the next few days and indications are they will try to retain the main players — something they didn’t do last season des-pite winning the National League.

Mohun Bagan are yet to name a coach and the tenure of Bidesh Bose and Shyamal Banerjee got over with the completion of the National League on Monday.

Surkumar for EB

East Bengal, meanwhile, have struck a deal with Mahindra United defender Surkumar Singh. The Manipuri player spent a season with East Bengal in 2000-01 before moving to Mumbai.

He didn’t have a good time there and spent most of the time on the sidelines with the recurrence of a leg injury.

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