ISL offer for Tapu Barman
Dependable centre-back Tapu Barman has been offered to play in the Indian Super League's (ISL) for NorthEast United FC, which finished third among 11 teams in India's top-flight football last season. However, the Bangladesh national team defender is seemingly in hesitation over the offer.
Communicating with the 26-year-old defender during the SAFF Championship, NorthEast United coach Khalid Jamil made a direct offer to Tapu to play for his side in the upcoming season, which starts from November 19.
Jamil had first knocked Tapu during June's World Cup Qualifiers in Doha following Bangladesh's match against Afghanistan when the centre-back showed some brilliant display in defence and scored the equaliser for Bangladesh.
The 26-year-old was again consistent in the AFC Cup for Bashundhara Kings and the recently concluded SAFF Championship, where he scored the winning goal against Sri Lanka.
Jamil ensured Tapu that he would get more remuneration than what he gets from Bashundhara Kings.
"The coach of NorthEast United FC directly offered the proposal which is really attractive. The coach told me that I would get more payment that what I get from the Bangladeshi club. I told him that I have verbally promised Bashundhara Kings for the next season, in reply to which he told me to rethink about his proposal," Tapu Barman told The Daily Star in the Maldivian capital Male on Saturday.
During the SAFF Championship, Tapu was also offered to play in the second division league in Qatar with an initial offer of US$ 10,000 per month, the offer tabled by an agent. Tapu asked the agent to send details about the club and facilities.
However, Tapu is interested in playing in the ISL over the Qatari league, but he wants assurance of having maximum gametime from NorthEast United.
"Mamunul [Islam] bhai warmed the bench throughout the season for Athletic de Kolkata during the inaugural ISL, so I wanted to know from the coach whether I will be given playing time regularly and he assured me about it," Tapu said. "I am really interested to represent Bangladesh beyond the boundary but I don't want to sign for any club to sit idle throughout the season. I will also have to talk to Bashundhara Kings as I have promised them to play in the upcoming season."
It has been learnt that Bashundhara Kings have offered Tapu an all-time high payment in domestic football for the next season, a whopping Tk 80 lakh season salary along with captaincy.
"As a professional player, I will certainly accept the better offer which will have more facilities and playing time," said Tapu, who scored five goals in 41 matches for Bangladesh.