Several I-League clubs were in the news recently after announcing new signings on social media.
There seems to emerge a greater clarity regarding the commencement of the next Indian football season and clubs look to be engrossed in finalizing transfers and bolstering their squads accordingly. I-League clubs have gained significant momentum in the market over the past month or so.
Particularly in the previous week, they seem to have surpassed the Indian Super League outfits in terms of roping in players and strengthening their rosters. Without further ado, let us take a quick look at some of the major transfer moves to have transpired in the last seven days.
FC Goa have reinforced their forward line by signing Spanish striker Igor Angulo in a year long deal. The 36-year-old has represented Polish club Gornik Zabrze since 2016 and is one of the most prolific forwards to have plied his trade in Ekstraklasa in recent times. In the last two seasons, Angulo has scored 40 goals and bagged seven assists in 73 league appearances. Despite being in his mid-30s, the forward has turned up for the side very consistently and definitely promises to be an asset for the Gaurs as they look to rebuild under the tutelage of Juan Ferrando.
As confirmed by Khel Now few months before the official announcement, Nishu Kumar has signed a lucrative four-year deal with Kerala Blasters. The full-back rose to prominence with Bengaluru FC, as his ability to persistently deliver laudable performances enabled him to represent the Indian football team in 2019. With the value of the contract reported over ₹5 crores across four years, Nishu Kumar becomes the highest-paid Indian defender as well.
Former India captain Steven Dias is reported to be one of the front-runners to join Stuart Baxter’s coaching staff ahead of the 2020-21 ISL season. The 36-year-old was an assistant coach at Jamshedpur FC in the sixth campaign of the league. Now, it looks like he will be associating with the Juggernauts, who have assembled an exciting, young squad for the seventh edition of the ISL.
Gokulam Kerala FC
As confirmed by Khel Now a couple of weeks ago, Gokulam Kerala have lured in defender Muhammed Asif ahead of the next season. The 23-year-old has previously played in the AFC Cup for Nepalese club Manang Marshyangdi, whom he represented in 2019. However, it was his impressive outings for the Sports Academy of Tirur in the Kerala Premier League last season that encouraged the I-League club to sign him and reinforce their defence.
Churchill Brothers have secured the signing of 32-year-old custodian Shilton Paul on a one-year deal. Paul had previously been associated with Mohun Bagan for 14 years ever since joining them after graduating from the Tata Football Academy in 2006. He is is now set to turn a new leaf in his career with the Red Machines as the Kolkata giants seem to be going for a revamp after merging with ATK.
Real Kashmir FC
Real Kashmir are close to agreeing a deal for midfielder Pratesh Shirodkar, according to Goal. The 31-year-old was apparently training with Dempo SC since February 2020. He has formerly played for both Mumbai City FC and now-defunct Mumbai FC. In the 2015 ISL season, Shirodkar made seven appearances in the league for the Islanders. He was also a member of FC Goa’s victorious Hero Super Cup campaign in 2019 and will now be hoping to gain some playing time with the Snow Leopards.
Goal has reported that Punjab FC have hired Nikolaos Topoliatis as their new technical director. Topoliatis has been extensively involved with Greek outfit Olympiacos FC in the last 12 years. He has served as the technical director of their academy from 2017-2019 and also worked with their youth teams belonging to numerous age-groups. He will be replacing Michael Browne who held the post for Punjab FC until now.
TRAU FC have continued with their approach of inducting youth players in their roster in the ongoing transfer market. Six days ago, they signed Naorem Nanao Meitei, Shoraisham Sagar Singh, Thoudam Bungcha Singh and Thoudam Naresh Singh for their U-18 squad. These players have been brought in to play for the club in the Hero Elite League. In their official statement, the club thanked people for trusting their club and mentioned that players who have been honed at different football academies are choosing TRAU for their graduation.