Some rather big names from the top tier have surfaced in the speculations in the past week.
Indian football clubs are moving swiftly in the ongoing window and rumours are rife that certain squads have acquired a few high-profile transfers.
Increasingly, the I-League teams are making decisive choices by roping in domestic players aplenty. NEROCA FC and TRAU FC are the two clubs that have actively secured players to stiffen their squads. Here, we have compiled a list of all the major transfer stories from the previous week.
FC Goa have handed a contract extension to Clifford Miranda to continue his stay as the assistant coach of their first team. Miranda had assumed the duty of the interim head coach after Sergio Lobera’s dismissal last season. He will now take over an integral role under Juan Ferrando in a season where the Gaurs will be competing in the group stages of the AFC Champions League too.
Hansel Coelho and Viddhesh Bhonsle:
FC Goa have also signed goalkeepers Hansel Coelho and Viddhesh Bhonsle from Goa Pro League side SESA Football Academy. Both the shot-stoppers will turn up for the developmental team of the Gaurs. The two custodians have signed a deal for three years each and FC Goa have further demonstrated their motive of nurturing upcoming local talents in their setup.
Mumbai City FC
Goal.com has revealed that Mumbai City FC are in advanced talks to sign Nigerian forward Bartholomew Ogbeche. The 35-year-old has scored 27 goals and notched three assists in 34 appearances in the Indian Super League since the last two seasons and could turn out to be a crucial signing for the Islanders.
Kerala Blasters FC officially announced the arrival of goalkeeper Albino Gomes, a news that was reported by Khel Now back in February. The custodian is well-known for playing a pivotal role in Aizawl FC’s I-League triumph in the 2016-17 season. The Blasters faced issues with TP Rehenesh in front of the goal in the 2019-20 campaign and they have considerably strengthened that slot by inducting Gomes into the squad.
Matej Poplatnik has left Kerala Blasters to join Scottish top division club Livingston FC. The 27-year-old represented the Kochi-based team in the 2018-19 ISL season and had scored four goals in 16 matches. Later on, he secured a season-long loan move to Hungarian club Kaposvari Rakoczi. Now, the Slovenia international has made a permanent move away as the Blasters look to reboot their recruitment plans ahead of the next season.
NorthEast United FC and Odisha FC
Khel Now reported that NorthEast United FC and Odisha FC are tracking Brazilian defender Gerson Guimaraes. The Highlanders and the Juggernauts are currently considering a prospective deal for the player who can play in multiple positions including the defensive midfield.
He has represented the reserves side of Atletico Madrid in the past and underwent a successful spell with Poland’s first division club Lechia Gdansk. Gerson is a formidable centre-back who can add immense value to the backline for both the concerned teams through his vast experience of plying trade in numerous countries including South Korea’s top-division side Gangwon FC in the 2016-17 campaign.
Gokulam Kerala FC
Khel Now has understood that Gokulam Kerala FC are set to sign local centre-back Muhammad Asif on a two-year deal. For the uninitiated, Asif is the first Indian player to play for a foreign club in the AFC Cup group stage. He turned up for Nepali club Manang Marshyangdi in 2019 to achieve the aforementioned feat. However, his commendable performances for the Sports Academy of Thirur in the Kerala Premier League were noticed by the Malabarians and that prompted them to make a move for him.
NEROCA FC have signed a host of domestic players in the past week. They look to create a formidable squad to better their ninth-place finish in the 2019-20 I-League campaign.
The individuals roped in by the Imphal-based club in the last week are: Akbar Khan, Naorem James Singh, Lamjingba Mutum, Wangkheimayum Olen Singh, Ningthoujam Leibakchao Meitei, Wakambam Michael, Lourembam David Singh, Takhellambam Deepak Singh, Lael Shongsir, Ngathem Arnold Singh, Waikhom Rohit Meitei and Ningon Chiphang.
Most of these players, barring a few, fall into the 18-23 years age bracket. This signals that the club is looking to increase the number of youth players in their roster. It would be interesting to witness the result that this approach yields eventually.
In a splendid turn of events, TRAU FC roped in highly-rated 22-year-old striker Khangembam Bidyashagar Singh from East Bengal FC. He made five I-League appearances in the last season for the Red and Gold Brigaders. Bidyashagar bagged five goals in four matches in the Durand Cup held in August 2019.
“He will be an asset for TRAU and for our Manipur,” the club remarked in their official announcement of the arrival of the starlet. TRAU FC scored only 17 goals in 17 matches in the I-League last season and they will look at their new signing to lead the forward line and put the ball into the back more often.
Cleavon Hmar and Myongsing Khongreiwo
Furthermore, midfielder Cleavon Hmar penned a deal with the club too. He has represented Fateh Hyderabad AFC in the past and is a versatile player at the centre of the park.
Experienced winger Myongsing Khongreiwo too has returned to TRAU FC. He was an asset to the club in the 2018-19 season and will be a vital attacking reinforcement that the team critically requires next campaign.