"Most probably, I am not joining East Bengal. As of now, I am not in talks with any Indian team," said Aidara to Goal.
The Senegalese footballer went on to shed some light on what went wrong in negotiations with the Kolkata club. "We did not find an agreement. The same happened with most players that they tried to sign well in advance. Minerva is also claiming a transfer fee," he said.
The Red and Golds found themselves engaged in a bitter feud with Minerva Punjab after they announced that they have lured four of their players namely Sukhdev Singh, Rakshit Dagar, Deepak Devrani and Aidara. While Dagar and Devrani are set to join East Bengal, Singh has signed for Mohun Bagan which has left the officials red-faced.
When Goal contacted senior East Bengal official Debabrata Sarkar, he insisted that Aidara has an agreement with the club and the player must respect that.
"We have not received any information from Kassim Aidara as of now. We have an agreement with him and he needs release from us before joining any other club in the world. The agreement that we have with Aidara states that the player has to pay the transfer fee to Minerva Punjab. We are not liable to pay the amount," stated Sarkar.
East Bengal had a dismal season on the transfer front as Khalid Aucho who was signed in February for I-League turned up only after the league ended and played only in the Super Cup. Dilshod Sharofetdinov who was signed as a replacement for 25-year-old Armand Bazie never set foot in India.
With Kassim adamant on not joining East Bengal, the team management have an issue on their hands.