FORMER ENGLAND and Liverpool Robbie Fowler is set to join East Bengal as manager for the side’s first Indian Super League season.
Several sources including Goal have reported the parties have been in negotiation since September, though no official confirmation has yet been made.
With 163 goals, Mr Fowler is the seventh-highest Premier League goalscorer of all time, with 128 coming for Liverpool, 14 for Leeds United and 21 for Manchester City.
Mr Fowler also played in the Premier League for Blackburn Rovers, as well as spending time with Cardiff City, North Queensland Fury, Perth Glory and Muang Thong United.
During his time at Anfield, Mr Fowler won the Premier League Young Player of the Year twice in 1995 and 1996.
During his spell in Thailand with Muang Thong, Mr Fowler spent time as player-manager and spent part of the 2019-20 A-League season managing Brisbane Roar.
Mr Fowler won the UEFA Cup with the Reds in 2001, but his experience of Asian continental football is limited to two appearances for Muang Thong in the AFC Champions League.
Should he complete a move to East Bengal he would be one of three British coaches in the league alongside Stuart Baxter and Owen Coyle.
Mr Fowler would join a growing number of former A-League professionals working in India with Erik Paartalu, Roy Krishna, David Williams, Brad Inman, James Donachie, Joel Chianese, Jacob Tratt, Dylan Fox, Steven Taylor, Gary Hooper and Adam Le Fondre all making the move in recent years.
Mr Paartalu told the Sydney Morning Herald: “I’d say almost 10 A-League players have called me since I arrived home in April talking about contracts in India.
“Obviously boys are a bit sketchy, the volume of people I speak to from the A-League, it’s a genuine fear of not being paid and not playing football.”
“They’re going to be attracted to India first, you’ve got 11 teams backed by big companies who are always going to pay on time.
“You’re looking at the A-League and unless you’re Sydney FC, Melbourne City or Melbourne Victory, who’s actually going to pay salaries on time?
“Who are they going to attract?
“Are they going to let people into the country?
“There’s a lot of unanswered questions.
“It’s a bit frightening.”