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Transfers that almost rocked the Indian Super League

From the quite possible Cesc Fabregas saga to a far-fetched thought on Lionel Messi, here are some of the stars who have been linked with the Indian Super League over the years.

Transfers that almost rocked the Indian Super League

What if Diego Costa had decided to join ATK Mohun Bagan? (Source: Sky Sports)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 12 Oct 2022 6:42 AM GMT

The ISL has been a powerhouse of foreign talents in the recent years and many major names in world football have plied their trades here. With the coveted event commencing on 7th October, let us take a look at some of the biggest names to have been associated with the tournament in the recent years:

Diego Costa

After his contract with Atlético Mineiro expired in January, the Spanish striker, Diego Costa was no longer bound to that club. Numerous teams throughout the world, notably Salernitana and Atalanta in Italy, Krasnodar and Zenit in Russia, and even Cádiz in Laliga, were linked to Costa.

The striker has reportedly received a contract offer from the Indian team ATK Mohun Bagan. ATK Mohun Bagan was led by Antonio López, a manager Diego Costa collaborated with at Celta de Vigo. Diego Costa, however, reportedly declined the offer since he had no interest in relocating to India.

Yaya Toure

Several ageing football icons have competed in the Indian Super League. Yaya Toure, an Ivorian football player, almost joined the list. The former Barcelona and Manchester City midfielder had a number of ISL teams interested in signing him, but many had their concerns considering the asking price.

FC Goa and Bengaluru FC, who were both very interested in signing him, did not make any more progress.

Lionel Messi

Following the announcement that Messi will be leaving in 2020, the Indian Super League (ISL) team Kerala Blasters tweeted a teaser that they might sign the Argentine megastar. Given the finances, watching Messi play in the ISL three to four years from now may not be as unlikely as it seems right now.

Samir Nasri

Samir Nasri, who has seen a significant fall from grace in recent years, is presently employed by Belgian team Anderlecht. The Frenchman, who later went to Manchester City from Arsenal, was regarded as one of the Premier League's most talented strikers at the turn of the decade.

The Frenchman's doping offence resulted in an additional 18-month suspension until January 2019. Thus, the rumour of the Frenchman joining Kerala Blasters of the Indian Super League did not seem all that unlikely in 2020.

Cesc Fabregas

Cesc Fabregas, Barcelona and Arsenal legend, was most recently connected to the Indian Super League. Fabregas' intermediaries informed FC Goa that the former Barcelona star was ready for one more adventure. When questioned about the wage they could provide, the club declined since they were convinced they couldn't afford the star player.

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