Kolkata giants East Bengal have roped in two key Aizawl FC players Lalramchullova and Mahmoud al Amna to start their recruitment drive for the next season.
It's not yet clear whether the Red and Golds will be joining the Indian Super League (ISL) or continue to play in the low-profile I-League, but they have already made their intent clear by signing arguably the best player of the recently concluded league campaign.
Al Amna, a seasoned Syrian international, played a pivotal role in Aizawl's success, after joining the team from Sporting Clube de Goa last summer.
Chullova, on the other hand, is a 21-year old defender, who has played regular first-team football for the Reds, making 30 appearances in the last two I-League outings. The diminutive Mizo professional is known for his positional sense and excellent disciplinary record.
The Kolkata club have not won the national league since 2004 despite a number of changes in the coaching staff and keeping the core of squad intact for years. The new season is expected to usher in a wholesale change in the squad, with a number of long-time members set to leave.
East Bengal have already picked up the 'invitation to bid' (IBD) document for the ISL, and whether they will be playing in the glitzy new league is expected to be confirmed in the next 48 hours. Al Amna has, hence, signed a deal only for the Calcutta Football League (CFL) while Chullova has signed a full-season contract.