Plenty of high-profile signings were made by ISL clubs in the previous week.
Indian football clubs have picked up the intensity of making some key transfers in order to strengthen their squads for the upcoming season. One can witness that certain clubs are adamant to elongate the stay of certain players whilst the others are looking to bolster their quota of foreign internationals. Regardless, some very captivating rumours materialised in the last seven days and here we get into further details of the same.
Mumbai City FC
Mumbai City FC have agreed to pay a record ₹1.6 crore transfer fee to sign Hugo Boumous from FC Goa. The French-Moroccan suddenly announced his departure from the Gaurs on July 27 through a post from his official Instagram handle.
Despite an initial rebuttal from the club claiming that Boumous continues to remain an FC Goa player, it came to light that the Islanders had sent an official email to the club agreeing to pay the ‘Golden Ball’ winner’s buy-out clause.
Sahal Abdul Samad and Rahul KP
Goal has reported that the local duo of Sahal Abdul Samad and Rahul KP will be signing a contract extension with Kerala Blasters. Samad already has an existing deal until 2022 that he had penned last year. However, the new agreement will keep him tied to the club by 2025. On the other hand, Rahul KP played only eight matches in 2019-20. However, the potential that he holds has been well recognized by the club and he will be duly awarded for the same through an extension to his contract.
In what seems to be an attempt to secure the domestic talent at their disposal, the Kochi-based club also lengthened the stay of 25-year-old centre-back Abdul Hakku Nediyodath by three years. He played only five matches last season but the club’s Sporting Director Karolis Skinkys believes that the centre-back has the potential to become a mainstay in the team’s defensive line.
Jerry Lalrinzuala has prolonged his stay with Chennaiyin FC after agreeing on a new multi-year deal with the club. The 22-year-old plays as a left-back and has represented the Marina Machans in 57 ISL matches since 2016. He has scored one goal, assisted six others and his neat defensive displays have attracted applause from many quarters. Naturally, the club demonstrated their keenness to hold on to this up and coming talent.
As disclosed by Khel Now more than a month ago, Jamshedpur FC have roped in Owen Coyle as their new head coach for the 2020-21 campaign. It has been learnt that the former Burnley boss has been lured in on a two-year deal. However, the second year of his contract can be deemed null and void based on the team’s performance. Such performance-based agreements is a fairly new concept in Indian football and it will be interesting to witness the way in which Coyle manages to live up to these expectations.
As revealed by Khel Now, Jamshedpur FC are in talks to sign former Liverpool defender Jack Hobbs. The 31-year-old has featured extensively for the likes of Hull City, Leicester City and Nottingham Forrest in the past.
The Tata Steel-owned club had adopted a rather reserved approach in the transfer market so far due to the ongoing pandemic but they look set to finalize more moves now after securing Owen Coyle as their head coach for 2020-21 campaign. With the departure of Tiri, the team required some reinforcement in the defensive line and hence their interest in Hobbs is not entirely surprising.
ATK Mohun Bagan
Pritam Kotal has penned a new deal with ATK Mohun Bagan that lasts until 2022. The defender was instrumental for Antonio Lopez Habas’ ISL-winning side last season. Previously, he had won the I-League title in 2014-15 with Mohun Bagan. Unsurprisingly, the newfound unified entity lengthened Kotal’s tenure with them and he will arguably have a vital role to play in the team’s endeavours next season.
Jobby Justin will stay at ATK Mohun Bagan until 2022, as the forward has signed a contract extension. In the 2019-20 ISL season, the 26-year-old forward appeared in 10 games and notched one goal and an assist.
However, his highly-anticipated move did not bear much fruit as the former East Bengal player clocked only 318 minutes on the field throughout the course of the campaign. Hence, this move is rather interesting and indicates that the club considers him in their plans for the future despite a fairly mediocre debut season with them.
Odisha FC have maintained their stance of promoting youth players and the transfers they have made so far since the conclusion of the previous season rakes of the same. Keeping up with that promise, the Juggernauts have handed professional contracts to five U-18 players, who have now graduated to the senior team.
These footballers are Jones Lalthakima, Ronaldo Wairokpam, Nischay Adhikari, Akshunna Tyagi and Rishab Dobriyal. Tyagi and Dobriyal are forwards whereas Lalthakima and Wairokpam are defenders and Adhikari is a midfielder. To witness these players make a transition to higher levels of football will be interesting.
East Bengal FC
Francisco Bruto Da Costa
East Bengal FC have confirmed the signing of Francisco Bruto Da Costa as their new coach for the coming football campaign. Francisco has formerly been the assistant coach at NorthEast United and the Malaysian national football team. He has an AFC Pro License and has reportedly stated that he is ready to work under an international head coach too, if the club decides to hire one. Amidst the uncertainty regarding East Bengal’s new investors and their prospective participation in the ISL, this is a rare bit of positive news for the Red and Gold.
Mohammedan SC have signed left-back Shouvik Ghosh in a bid to bolster their defensive line and move up the I-League in the upcoming season. Ghosh has ample credible experience to his name, having represented the likes of Mohun Bagan, Mumbai City FC and NorthEast United FC in the past. However, his career had encountered a stumbling block in recent times and Ghosh will look to commence a new chapter in his career with Mohammedan SC.
Gokulam Kerala FC:
Gokulam Kerala FC are looking to strengthen their set of domestic talents as they have roped in 22-year-old winger Faslu Rahman in their setup. Rahman has played in the Santosh Trophy for Tripura and was a part of Ozone FC when the club had emerged victorious in the Bengaluru Super Division League. The Malabarians have already signed players such as Ngangom Ronald Singh and Muhammed Asif and look to be on a search of more unheard, young local talents.