BY ANSELM NORONHA Follow @apnoronha on twitter
India coach Wim Koevermans is a worried man given that the national team players who are contracted by IMG-Reliance for their proposed IPL-style league would be short on match fitness ahead of the international friendly against Tajikistan scheduled for August 14.
Given that the I-League clubs have agreed not to take any of the players participating in IMG-Reliance's initiative on loan, the said players are without a club and hence there are question marks raised over their fitness levels.
Nirmal Chettri however feels that the issue could be countered if these players who do not have a club in India, join a club outside the country.
"If I sign for IMG-R and I can't play for I-League teams, I'll make sure that I go abroad and play for some other team," the India international told GOAL.
"I have a mutual agreement with Mohun Bagan to talk to IMG-Reliance. I asked for a release and got it. So I'm a free player now. Still I have some dues that have to be paid by the club," he continued.
He hinted his preference for IMG-Reliance's league over the I-League as he was keen to test new waters.
"I think IMG-Reliance is a better option and it's not that I-League clubs are bad, but I'm looking for a new experience."
|Will there be a devised solution for the players?|
"Right now there have only been rumours that I have signed with IMG-Reliance, but I'm waiting for the AIFF's clearance about the league. So once the things are sorted out, I will come out and say whom I have signed for.
"Mohun Bagan have asked me to go ahead and talk to them (IMG-Reliance) or other clubs. Because of the financial crisis, the club (Mohun Bagan) can't afford me and do not want to renogotiate my contract."
He acknowledged that he is close to joining IMG-Reliance's bandwagon given that they are ready to meet his demands.
"IMG-Reliance have contacted me and I'm in the final stage of the talks. Whatever I am expecting, they said that they are ready to fulfill my demands. So I'm waiting for the things between the clubs and IMG-Reliance to be sorted out. I hope that I take the best decision for my career."
The former Air India and East Bengal player meanwhile believes that IMG-Reliance has to be given a chance to test their new venture and he doesn't believe that it shall come to hurt the I-League clubs.
"In the current situation the players have a fickle mind as to whether to sign for IMG-Reliance or for the clubs. I hope things will sort out by this week or the coming week so that players can make their own decision.
"IMG-Reliance is a good platform for players and I'll make sure that I don't lose on the opportunity. It's another forward step for Indian football. I hope all the players will think about it. I-League will have their own stage and IMG-Reliance theirs. I-League will have its own charm and IPL [style tournament] will have another format for people to generate attraction towards the stars."
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