Indian Super League (ISL) debutants East Bengal FC are in talks with former Premier League defender Danny Fox, as reports in England have suggested, The Bridge can confirm. It’s understood that the player is himself keen on a move, having recently severed ties with Championship side Wigan Athletic.
Fox, 34, has bags of experience of playing top-level football in England and his former coaches describe him as someone ‘influential’ in the dressing room. He picked up the ropes of the game at the Liverpool academy before moving to neighbours Everton at the age of 13, the club he would go pro for.
Although he did not make any senior appearance for the Merseyside club, he did make an appearance on the bench in a match against Aston Villa as an 18 year old. A couple of loan moves later, Fox was signed by League one side Walsall where he saw his team being relegated to League 2, then helped them become champions to earn promotion again.
Having impressed in the lower divisions, the then youngster was called up for the England U-21 squad thrice but could make only one appearance due to recurring injuries. He would later appear for the Scotland senior national team, through his grandfather.
In 2008, Fox moved to Championship side Coventry City before playing for Scottish giants Celtic for one season. He would also go on to feature regularly in the Premier League, first with Burnley, then with Southampton, competing against the bests in the business.
The left-footed central half, who can also slot in comfortably at left back, was last playing at Wigan Athletic, a team he had joined initially on loan from Nottingham Forrest.
Last week, after months of speculation, Football Sports Development Ltd. (FSDL) welcomed the Red and Golds into the ISL. This was after the Kolkata giants had announced that Shree Cement Ltd. had invested in the club.
On the day of the announcement, we reported that former Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler would be named as the head coach of East Bengal. While the announcement is yet to be made official, and there has been a lot of speculation over a four-man shortlist and interviews and what not, the 100-year-old club has been continually linked with several players who have some connection with Fowler.
Scottish forward Anthony Stokes and former Brisbane Roar defender Scott Neville are two such players who are reportedly in talks with East Bengal and sources have confirmed the same.
It is also learnt that Fowler has been himself selecting the players he wants in his squad for the upcoming season. In fact, he has even started enquiring after domestic players who could be up for transfers, in consultation with set-to-be assistant Renedy Singh. He knows time is short on hand. Other teams have already reached Goa and will begin preparations soon, while East Bengal still need to finalise their squad.
However, despite being late to the party, aspirations with the club management and the investors are high. The club believes that they can build a strong squad which would be capable of challenging the likes of ATK Mohun Bagan, Mumbai City, Bengaluru FC and FC Goa. We have to wait and see if any of the deals materialise eventually, official announcements are expected early this coming week.