India under-17 goalkeeper Dheeraj Moirangthem’s heroics under the bar have caught the attention of scouts representing a few international clubs, the team’s Portuguese goalkeeping coach Paolo Grilo has said.
On TV, Bhaichung Bhutia was calling him the find of the tournament. On Twitter, former England goalkeeper David James was namedropping him. At post-match interactions, opposition managers were hailing his quality. In the stands, the crowds were going crazy every time he made a save. Not bad for someone who, not so long ago, thought badminton would be a better idea. Dheeraj certainly has made full use of the stage that World Cup is so much so that foreign clubs whose names haven’t been confirmed had him on their radar. Reportedly, it is believed that two German clubs – one possibly being Borussia Monchengladbach – and a scout from an American outfit were keeping a close watch.
In any case, AIFF has approached all the U-17 players with a contract to seal their services for the coming years which has been countered by some I-League and ISL clubs as well. The AIFF will be one of the key parties involved in any future move by Moirangthem since he is the federation’s academy product and is close to signing of a two-year deal to play in the I-League. “We are aware of the interest shown by the scouts and have spoken to Dheeraj about it,” the AIFF official was quoted as saying. “The most important thing is to ensure the interest is genuine and not because of commercial reasons.”
AIFF has to deal with the domestic clubs as well for the boys as an official has stated that the agents are misleading the boys and their parents to make them sign for ISL and I-League clubs who have offered a lot more money for their services. With interest and offers pouring in from all corners, what do you think should India’s latest goalkeeping sensation do?