Indian Super League side Atletico de Kolkata are in advanced talks with Uruguay veteran footballer Diego Forlan, hoping to sign him up as the marquee player of the side ahead of ISL 2016, reports renowned Bengali newspaper Ananda Bazar Patrika. Forlan, 37, currently plies his trade with Uruguayan side Penarol.
According to the publication, the Kolkata franchisee, who were left frustrated last season in the ISL after their marquee player Helder Postiga remained on the sidelines for the major part of the tournament, are looking for a player who is actively involved with club football at the present.
And Forlan, one of the biggest names to have played in an Atletico Madrid jersey, apparently fits the bill. The Atletico de Kolkata officials have remained tightlipped, however.
The winner of the Golden Ball in FIFA World Cup 2010 and a Copa America winner with Uruguay played a total of 198 matches for La Liga side Atletico Madrid between 2007 and 2011 and scored 90 times. He was also a part of Manchester United's Premier League winning side in 2002-03.
He retired from international football early last year after bagging 112 caps and 36 goals.
The report also stated that Atletico Madrid are also assisting the Indian Super League in bagging the player for the third season of the Indian football competition. Forlan was seen the previous time in Kolkata in 2010 during a promotional event. He didn't display his football skills, however.
Will the City of Joy finally get to witness him live this time around? It remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, Atletico de Kolkata have announced that they have retained the likes of Iain Hume, Tiri, Sameehg Doutie, Ofentse Nato, Arnab Mondal and Jewel Raja ahead of ISL 2016. They also announced new additions like Kinshuk Debnath, Shilton Paul, Debjit Majumder, Pritam Kotal, Bikramjit Singh, Bikash Jairu, Dika, Robert Lalthlanumna, Prabir Das and Bidyananda Singh, one of the most promising youngsters in Indian football today.
"I am truly excited about the talent. This year we have some of the best Indian players who will be playing for ATK," the Press Trust of India quoted new Atletico de Kolkata coach Jose Molina as saying.