The Men of Steel have been highly active in the market ever since the appointment of Owen Coyle at the helm.
The previous week witnessed some frenetic transfers taking place among Indian football clubs. More interestingly, the teams from the lower divisions propped up to acquire players aplenty, as the upcoming campaign approaches very soon.
Without further ado, let us get into the thick of the matter and provide briefings on some of the notable moves that took place recently.
In a digital roundtable with journalists, FC Goa’s new striker Igor Angulo revealed that Ferran Corominas will not continue with the club in the upcoming campaign. It was a topic that the Gaurs had remained tight-lipped about so far, but news emerged the very next day that they will be parting ways with the iconic forward after a successful three-year spell. The Times of India reported that the club and Corominas could not agree upon a deal, as the remuneration in the new offer made to him was inferior than the one in which he played the 2019-20 season.
Bengaluru FC have signed left-back Ajith Kumar from Chennai City FC on a three-year deal. The club’s Chief Executive Officer Mandar Tamhane claimed that they had been tracking the 23-year-old’s progress for quite some time. Ajith has possibly been inducted into the squad to replace Nishu Kumar, who was a mainstay in the backline for the Blues, but left the club to join Kerala Blasters a few weeks ago.
Chennaiyin FC have managed to keep hold of the core of their squad, as the club have confirmed the participation of 10 players for the next campaign of the Indian Super League. These are Anirudh Thapa, Thoi Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Sinivasan Pandiyan, Edwin Sydney Vanspaul, Vishal Kaith, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Deepak Tangri, Abhijit Sarkar and Rahim Ali.
Furthermore, Germanpreet Singh has also signed a multi-year contract with the club. The 24-year-old has been integral in the midfield for Chennaiyin, and will continue to ply his trade with them for the foreseeable future.
Jackichand Singh has joined Jamshedpur FC on a three-year contract, as reported by Khel Now in February this year. The 28-year-old winger was an instrumental part of FC Goa’s attack, as he scored five goals and assisted three others in their fairly successful campaign last time around. Farukh Choudhary’s departure had created a vacuum in Jamshedpur’s frontline and Jackichand can arguably turn out to be an upgrade for the Tata Steel-owned club.
Jamshedpur FC officially announced the arrival of Nerijus Valskis from the Marina Machans. The Lithuanian striker will reunite with former head coach Owen Coyle at the club. Valskis had notched 15 goals and bagged six assists in 20 encounters in the league last season, thus winning the Golden Boot.
Khel Now revealed that the Men of Steel have acquired former Motherwall FC skipper Peter Hartley on a two-year agreement. The defender has been a free agent since July and will become a part of Coyle’s backline, thus strengthening it significantly. Hartley had led Motherwall to a third-place finish in the Scottish Premiership in 2019-20. However, the financial impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic was such that the club had to release him.
According to our exclusive report, Jamshedpur FC are in advanced talks to sign Brazilian midfielder Alex Monteiro de Lima. The 31-year-old is known for having played in Major League Soccer for clubs such as Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo. Owen Coyle seems to have used his network and contacts to get this move done, as he had managed Lima during the player’s stint with Houston Dynamo. The former Suwon FC player will add further solidity, flair and quality in the middle of the park for the Jharkhand-based team.
Kerala Blasters have roped in defender Sandeep Singh on a year-long deal. The 25-year-old made eight appearances in the I-League for TRAU FC in 2019-20 and has also represented ATK in the past. He will be expected to add domestic depth and alternatives in Blasters’ roster.
NorthEast United are set to sign Chennai City’s versatile player Mashoor Shareef ahead of the 2020-21 campaign. The 27-year-old can play in the backline and also deep in midfield, thus adding handy value to the team.
Thangboi Singto and Shameel Chembakath
In a week in which Hyderabad FC officially announced their association with Borussia Dortmund, they also seem to be revamping their backroom staff. Goal has disclosed that revered coach Thangboi Singto will be joining the club as their technical director in the upcoming season.
Furthermore, they will also rope in Shameel Chembakath as their reserves team head coach as confirmed by Khel Now. Singto was the assistant coach of Odisha FC in 2019-20, whereas Chembakath was at the helm of the reserve and U-15 sides of Kerala Blasters.
Vincenzo Alberto Annese
Gokulam Kerala have instated Vincenzo Alberto Annese as their head coach for the next season of the I-League. The 35-year-old has previously coached the Belize national team and also managed the U-19 side of Armenia. In his short career, Annese has vast experience in coaching and will look to improve on Gokulam’s sixth-placed finish in the competition last time around.
FC Bengaluru United
FC Bengaluru United have roped in 22-year-old forward Ronaldo Oliveira on a free transfer post the expiration of his contract with Kerala Blasters, according to our exclusive report. Oliveira turned up for the reserves team of the Kochi-based club in the 2nd Division League and notched four goals in five matches. Those performances might’ve propelled Bengaluru United to move for him and thus bolster their squad to qualify for the I-League next season.
Sena Fanai, MS Dawngliana and Samuel Shadap
Mohammedan SC have been on a signing spree recently. They have inducted midfielder Sena Fanai, full-back Samuel Shadap and forward MS Dawngliana in their squad. Dawngliana, particularly, is a talent to watch out for, as his goalscoring abilities at Mizoram Premier League club Chanmari FC have earned him a move to the Black Panthers. On the other hand, Shadap reunites with his former head coach Yan Law, under whom the player made 11 appearances in the I-League for Punjab FC in 2019-20.
The Kolkata-based club have lured in attacking midfielder Suraj Rawat. The 21-year-old has played for the likes of Indian Arrows and Kerala Blasters in the past. However, the starlet was unable to attain adequate playing time in recent seasons. Rawat now has the opportunity to develop under the stewardship of tactician Law.
Himanshu Jangra and Anwar Ali Jr.
Promising striker Himanshu Jangra and defender Anwar Ali Jr have signed for Mohammedan SC too. Jangra had turned out for Punjab FC in the I-League last season and was the highest goalscorer in the SAFF U-15 Championship that was held at Kalyani Stadium in 2019.
Anwar Ali Jr. joins the club after being treated for a congenital heart condition that ruled him out of the Indian Super League campaign last time around. He was a part of the Mumbai City FC squad, but the Islanders have now released him. Mohammedan have also retained the duo of Balbinder Singh and Jaskiranpreet Singh.
The club have also announced the arrival of midfielder Sheikh Faiaz, who represented Mohun Bagan in their victorious I-League campaign last time around. The 25-year-old made 17 appearances for the Mariners across the last two campaigns.