Defending Indian Super League champions Atletico de Kolkata are locked in talks with a few big clubs over a potential partnership as their parent club Atletico Madrid have all but decided to pull the plug on their Indian Super League project.

According to reports, ATK are now negotiating with Premier League giants Liverpool and Manchester City over selling a minority stake, with La Liga club Valencia CF also in the running.

The Kolkata-based club have been the most successful side in the ISL since their inception in 2014, having won the prestigious title twice in three seasons and are now aiming to maximise their reach.

Their marquee signing in the first ISL season, Luis Garcia, is believed to be the man who is facilitating talks between ATK and Liverpool.

Uncertainty also looms over Liverpool’s tie up with I-League club DSK Shivajians, after AIFF announced ISL as the country’s top tier football league and the Reds now want to strike a partnership with a club in India’s top tier.

In March, Manchester City’s chief commercial officer Tom Glick had also expressed interest in the Indian market. “Our chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has spoken publicly about our openness to new clubs and there are certainly some exciting, growing football markets around the world. Markets like China, India,” he said.

Despite an interest in ATK, Manchester City are also looking at Mumbai City FC as a secondary option.