With the transfer window for the 2020-21 season set to open on November 1 for six weeks, top Bangladesh Premier League clubs are looking to bring major changes in their roster of foreign players as they have to rely on similar sets of local players in the new season set to start from December 19.
In line with the new decisions of the professional football league committee of the Bangladesh Football Federation taken on October 15, local players have to play for the same clubs they represented last season, which was cancelled midway due to the coronavirus pandemic. The clubs were however given an opportunity to release local players, if they wanted to, on the condition that the players would return if they did not find new clubs. There are no such provisions for foreign players.
Most top clubs are not thinking of releasing their old guns; instead their focus will be on signing quality foreign players to strengthen squads because foreign players usually make the difference, be it in winning the title or avoiding relegation.
Except Saif SC, most top clubs also want to bank on their old coaches for the upcoming season.
Defending champions Bashundhara Kings have brought in three new foreign players -- Brazilian winger Robson Azevedo Da Silva Robinho, midfielder Jonathan da Silveria Fernandes and Iranian Khaled Shafiei -- and are looking for a replacement for Argentine striker Harnan Barcos, who scored four times in his only appearance for the club in an AFC Cup match.
Although there were rumours that the national player-studded Kings may release some players, BA Jubair Nipu, head of Kings' strategy and planning, denied it.
"The management has decided not to release any players but if any players want to leave Bashundhara Kings, they can approach the management, which will take the final decision," said Nipu.
Echoing Nipu's sentiment, Satyajit Das Rupu, manager of six-time champions Abahani, said" "We don't have any plan to release any players or rope in anyone but if any player feels he can't play for Abahani, then he can approach us and we will think about it."
Rupu also said they are going to replace Kyrgyz player Edgar Bernhardt and are thinking of bringing another change in four-player quota.
"We want to release three to four junior players who did not improve as expected last season," Saif SC Managing Director Nasir Chowdhury said. "We are also thinking of signing four new foreign players."
Sheikh Russel KC are also thinking of releasing a couple of local players and bringing in all four new foreign players.
"After releasing a couple of players, we want to replace them if we can. We are communicating with foreign players as we have decided not to retain the services of our old foreign players," said Sheikh Russel KC Sports Director Saleh Jaman Selim.
Sheikh Jamal DC Manager Anwarul Karim Helalsaid they would not release or sign local players but wanted to make changes to the foreigners' roster and retain only Solomon King.
Chattogram Abahani Manager Arman Aziz said that they were planning to release some local players and retain their foreign recruits.
Saif SC are looking to replace Serbian coach Drago Mamic while Bashundhara, Abahani, Sheikh Jamal, Sheikh Russel and Chattogram Abahani are all set to rely on last season's coaches.