ATK are set to complete the signing of Manchester United academy graduate Tom Thorpe for the upcoming season of the Indian Super League (ISL), Goal can confirm.
Provided the deal does not suffer any hiccups, the 24-year-old defender will be joining a setup which is coached by former Man Utd striker Teddy Sheringham. Moreover, Technical Director Ashley Westwood is also a Manchester United academy graduate.
Raghu Iyer, CEO of ATK, confirmed that the franchise was in talks with the ex-United star when Goal contacted him. "We are in negotiations with Tom Thorpe. However, nothing has been finalised yet," he said.
Tom Thorpe, who captained the Manchester United reserves to the inaugural U21 Premier League title in the 2012-13 season, has made one league appearance for the Red Devils under Louis van Gaal in 2014/15 season. He came on as a late substitute in a 2-1 win over West Ham United. But the Englishman failed to nail down a spot in the first team and was released by Man United at the end of the 2014/15 season.
He subsequently joined Championship outfit (English second tier) Rotherham United on a two-year deal which ended at the end of 2016/17 season. Thorpe played for Bolton Wanderers on loan last season but is a free agent now, paving way for ATK to sign him outside the transfer window.
Sheringham will be hopeful of garnering Thorpe's experience with United as ATK look to secure their third ISL title in four years. The Kolkata-based franchise have several former Premier League stars on their roster including former Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane, as a marquee player, and former Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Now, with the capture of Tom Thorpe, they have fortified their defence with a player who has had a taste of Premier League football.