The Kyrgyz striker had failed to impress in five games with The Red and Golds from Kolkata, prompting Trevor Morgan to look for alternative options to fulfil their Asian player quota. The 26-year-old Payne was plying his trade for Sydney United 58 FC, a semi-professional football club in New South Wales. He has previously played for A-League outfits Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets.
East Bengal football secretary Santosh Bhattacharya, when contacted, confirmed the development and said, "We are in advanced talks with him (Payne) and have almost finalised the deal. We are just waiting for the formalities to be processed and are awaiting the approval of his Visa."
East Bengal are hoping for Payne's documents to be approved before the Kolkata derby against Mohun Bagan on February 12th.