Rangers FC coach Ally McCoist has stated that his club will only sign Indian internationals Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua, if they would help his team to make further progress on the pitch.
McCoist has also made clear that he is not facing any pressure from the club to sign both players based on the commercial benefit the Glasgow side would earn on the Indian sub-continent.
Sunil and Jeje are expected to arrive in Glasgow later this month for a trial with the SPL side at Murray Park.
Talking to Scottish newspaper “Daily Record”, McCoist said: “There’s absolutely no way on this earth I would sign a player for this football club if I didn’t think he would benefit the first-team squad and play.”
“The players come first, before the commercial interests. The player is the most important thing as you don’t get one without the other,” McCoist continued.
“It’s very important for this club to have a commercial side that is doing well but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I bought someone to flourish the commercial side if he isn’t going to play in the team.”
“These Indian players were brought to me and on the back of that any commercial stuff happens. I’ve watched footage of them. Sunil has been around a bit, while the lad Jeje is a little bit younger.”
“Unfortunately I’m genuinely not sure if they are coming over. We haven’t a date confirmed yet. I’ve said before we’re in no position to turn anybody away that might make us a better team or a better squad.”
“We, as coaches and managers, will welcome everybody with an option to give everybody an opportunity and that’s exactly where we stand on the matter – be it Sone Aluko, be it the Indian lads, the Korean lad, the German lad who was over – there’s nothing untoward on the matter, believe me.”
“I’m very open-minded about it. The world’s a small place in terms of sourcing footage on YouTube or DVDs of players. You can get things at a flick of a switch. So we’re looking forward to getting them over and we’ll see how they do.”
“But make no mistake about it, if they sign it will be a football decision. And the commercial people at the club know that 100 per cent. They haven’t put any pressure on me to sign anyone,” McCoist made clear. “They’re intelligent people – they know these guys would have to be playing regularly for them to get any commercial benefits off the back of it.”
Asked about his knowledge of Indian football and the I-League, McCoist told: “India is not one of the new footballing countries I’ve come across like Australia or USA, it’s a country that’s still progressing. I would be lying if I said I was in any way knowledgeable about the Indian league. But we do know players which is maybe as important, if not more important.”
“Football is a global game now and you get players all across the world so there’s every chance you’ll get a good player from India or wherever else,” McCoist concluded.