ATK’s star last season, Manuel Lanzarote has surprisingly revealed that the club hasn’t contacted him over the last month and he is quite unsure what future holds for him in the Kolkata-based franchise. The former FC Goa star scored five goals and assisted twice last season in an average season.
ATK have been in a state of transition for the last two seasons. Since they won the ISL title for the second time in 2016, the Kolkata-based club has gone down a dark tunnel with no light at the other end. After Teddy Sheringham had a disastrous season, ATK got back at a competitive level under Steve Coppell and the club has brought back title-winning coach Antonio Habas this season to get back to their glory days.
However, amidst all the mismanagement, the administration didn’t fail to get in star players. Last season, the two-time champions brought in John Johnson from Bengaluru FC, Gerson Viera from Mumbai City FC, Edu Garcia, and Lanzarote from FC Goa. And although they didn’t qualify for the playoffs, they did manage to finish sixth.
Lanzarote, undoubtedly, was the best player for ATK last season and had the likes of Kalu Uche and Balwant Singh not underperformed, he could have been more effective. However, that was not to happen and with a new coach coming in, the midfielder is in dark about his future.
"The club has not informed me about my situation. My agent talked to the coach and he does not say anything about my continuity either. He tells me that the club is talking to me and the reality is that I have not spoken to anyone (from the club). The coach and the club know what they want to do about me but nobody has contacted me yet," explained Lanzarote, reported Goal.
"I have no offer nor do I intend to leave ATK. (But) If the moment comes that they throw me out of the club, I will evaluate whether I will continue in India or return to Spain. But it is a difficult situation as things stand. At the same time, I have no need to leave ATK. The club informed me that the coach will call me and I have been waiting for a month and a half. But I have a contract with ATK. As long as the club does not inform me, I'm an ATK player. They will decide," he added.
ATK was swift in retaining Johnson, Garcia and Lanzarote just after their league season simultaneously alongside East Bengal star Jobby Justin. However, Habas is apparent unsure about Lanzarote in his plans and reportedly refused to comment when contacted by Goal, stating that the club officials are in a better position to respond.
Club CEO Raghu Iyer, however, has assured that the club is not planning to release Lanzarote.
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