Indian Super League: Mehtab Hossain does a U-turn, joins draft instead of Kerala Blasters

The Tuskers aimed at retaining the veteran midfielder but now have given up on acquiring his services until the draft later this month...

2016 Indian Super League (ISL) runners-up Kerala Blasters have not retained Mehtab Hossain and the midfielder is all set to join the draft later this month, Goal has reliably learnt.

It was earlier reported here that Hossain was invited to Hyderabad to chalk out contract details but the veteran chose not to renew his three-season long association with the Tuskers on Tuesday.

Kerala Blasters have thus chosen to opt for striker CK Vineeth and have started negotiating with Rino Anto to keep them as retained players before the 2017-18 season kicks in. Along with Hossain, Sandesh Jhingan will put his name into the draft too after being snubbed by both Bengaluru FC and now Blasters.
READ MORE: India all set to bid for 2019 U-20 World Cup
Hossain exclusively spoke to Goal confirming his participation in the draft, slated for 23rd July. "Yes, it is true that Kerala Blasters had contacted me and I had spoken to the owners. But, I chose not to give it another go and instead go into the draft. Let's see what the future holds", said the former India international.

He also revealed that his former I-League club East Bengal too had made an offer to extend his current contract for a year but he politely declined as he vowed to leave the Red and Golds if they failed to win the I-League last season.

"East Bengal is a club close to my heart and there was an offer too but my words have some value too. I had always said that I would leave them if we did not win and so I did", he said.

In other news related to the Sachin Tendulkar co-owned team, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni has been retained as an Under 23 player. The forward turned out for Chennai City FC in the I-League last season scoring one goal against East Bengal. 

A product of the AIFF Elite Academy, Prasanth was signed by the Blasters in 2016 but failed to notch up any game-time with the Steve Coppell-coached side, losing to Atletico de Kolkata in the finals.

An ISL club can retain a maximum of two Indian senior and three Under 23 players before they enter the player draft.