Calcutta: The ASEAN Club Championship winners’ trophy and purse apart, East Bengal players may have also clinched a handy ‘business deal’ during their successful trip to Jakarta.
Some clubs were so impressed by the performance of red-and-gold shirted players, they have reportedly shown interest in ‘hiring’ some of them. The city giants, if they get a good bargain, will consider releasing some of these players on loan.
Bhaichung Bhutia is target No. 1. Among others in demand are Alvito D’Cunha, Surkumar Singh, Mahesh Gawli, M. Suresh and goalkeeper Sandip Nandy. The clubs interested are from Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.
“All these players are contracted with us for the full season, but we can loan them to other teams for short periods if conditions suit us,” said an East Bengal official from Jakarta on Sunday.
He admitted it was a good chance for the club to earn some money. “Right now, we are concentrating on the Federation Cup. We will think about these offers only after the tournament gets over on August 8.”
Local Indians threw a reception in East Bengal’s honour on Sunday evening.