New Delhi: Former Manchester United and France striker Louis Saha today became the first international big star to be roped in for the much-anticipated IPL-style football league to be organised by IMG-Reliance early next year.
Saha, who earned 20 caps for France between 2004 to 2012 and won two English Premier League and 2007-08 UEFA Champions League, is the first marquee player revealed by IMG-Reliance for the January 18-March 30 tournament.
"Saha has confirmed his availability for the tournament and we have signed him," an IMG-Relaince source told PTI.
"He is the first marquee player we can reveal now. The names of other seven marquee players will be announced in a few days time," he said.
"We hope the Indian players will be hugely benefited by playing along as well as against a player of Saha`s quality," he added.
Saha, who retired from professional football in August after a short stint at Italian Serie A side Lazio, will be picked by a franchisee in the players` auction which will be held towards the end of next month.
"By the first week of November, the names of other seven marquee players will be known," he added.
The bidding for the eight city-based franchises will be held between October 25 to November 5.
Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Kochi, Goa, Delhi and Bangalore will be the eight cities where the franchises would be based, while Guwahati and Hyderabad have been kept in the reserves.