The business have picked up pace as the new domestic season draws near.
The Indian football outfits have more or less locked in their squads ahead of the upcoming 2020-21 campaign. Certain teams have picked up the pace of their transfer activities during different phases in the ongoing window. Clubs like NorthEast United are known to finalize their signings towards the end of the off-season whilst East Bengal might again jump into the market after making a host of announcements back in the summer.
Nonetheless, the coming few weeks might just witness teams inducting more back-up players in their roster to strengthen their bench. On the other hand, one can witness the Hero Second Division clubs moving swiftly to secure reinforcements to put their best foot forward in the qualifying campaign that will be held in Kolkata in October. Here are the developments that took place in the last week in Indian football transfer window.
FC Goa have signed midfielder Phrangki Buam from Shillong Lajong on a three-year contract. The 19-year-old had scored six goals in 20 I-League experiences in 2018-19 and will be expected to add depth to the Gaurs’ midfield that has seen a couple of crucial departures so far.
24-year-old midfielder Alexander Romario has returned to FC Goa after his loan stint at Mohun Bagan for the 2019-20 season concluded. One of the hottest properties in Indian football, he made seven appearances in Mohun Bagan’s I-League title winning campaign in 2019-20 season and also scored a solitary goal. Whether Goa loan him out yet again or persist with him for the forthcoming Indian football season remains to be seen.
ATK Mohun Bagan
Goal has reported that centre-back Sandesh Jhingan is in final discussions with ATK Mohun Bagan as he weighs a move to Kolkata. “Jhingan has not signed yet with ATK Mohun Bagan. But is in final discussions with the club,” a source close to the move said to the website. Needless to say, the race to sign Jhingan has come down to only a select couple of clubs after a plethora of sides displayed initial interest.
Odisha FC have added further alternatives in their backline by securing the transfer of former Newcastle United stalwart Steven Taylor. The 34-year-old centre-back joins the Juggernauts on a year-long deal that has an option to extend the contract for another year. In addition to his several club stints, Taylor has featured extensively for the junior sides of England national team.
Jamshedpur FC have retained right-back Karan Amin ahead of the coming season of the ISL. Amin has been primarily used as a backup option in the last couple of years and played three matches in the league towards the end of the 2019-20 Indian football season.
NorthEast United midfielder Lalthathanga Khawlring has joined Kerala Blasters after two fruitful Indian football campaigns with the Highlanders. Puitea, as the 22-year-old is fondly called, made 29 appearances in the ISL since 2018-19 and has made two assists til now. He can play through the middle and can be shifted on the sides as well, an attribute which will help the southerners immensely in the upcoming Indian football season.
Seityasen Singh has penned a two-year extension for the Kochi-based club. The winger played ten matches in the league for the Blasters in 2019-20, scoring and assisting one goal each. Given that Singh’s stay has been lengthened by a fairly good period of time, it shows that the club oversees an important responsibility for him in the coming months.
Lalwmpuia and Sweden Fernandes:
Forward duo Sweden Fernandes and Lalwmpuia have joined Hyderabad FC on a three-year contract from FC Goa. Fernandes is a winger whereas Lalwmpuia plays upfront, and the Nizams had already acquired Liston Colaco midway through the 2019-20 campaign. Thus, the club has some credible domestic striking talents to choose from in their squad.
Hyderabad FC have signed former Odisha FC forward Aridane Santana on an one-year contract. The Spaniard had scored nine goals and bagged two assists in 14 ISL appearances in 2019-20 and looks well-adept to lead Hyderabad’s attack with similar returns under Manolo Marquez’s tutelage.
Hyderabad FC have also roped in central defender Odei Onaindia on a season-long contract. The 30-year-old has played for Athletic Bilbao in the past and also turned up for Spanish second-tier club Club Deportivo Mirandes from 2018-20.
Imphal-based Neroca FC have announced that they have retained goalkeeper Bishorjit Loitongbam in the squad. “He will be playing for the club for I-League 2020/20 season. We wish him all the best for the upcoming season and stay safe,” the club revealed on their official Facebook page.
NEROCA FC seem to be adamant on holding on to a major chunk of players who represented them last time around. The club have officially declared that several players will continue to don their jersey in the next season. These players are as following – Benjamin Lupheng, Golmei Dihempu, Ningombam Henry Singh, Yumkhaibam Jiteshwor, Khaiminthang Lhungdim, Khangam Horam, Angom Kinesh Singh, Nongthombam Manglem, K. Manjit Sharma, Ongam Romtan Singh, Sonam Chothe and Varun Thokchom.
Gokulam Kerala FC have confirmed the arrival of defender Deepak Devrani to their setup. The 27-year-old has previously won the I-League twice with Mohun Bagan and Punjab FC (erstwhile Minerva Punjab FC). He played 12 games for TRAU FC in the league in 2019-20 and bagged a couple of goals too.
Munmun Timothy Lugun
Munmum Timothy Lugun has penned a deal with Mohammeden Sporting Club to represent the Black Panthers in the upcoming Second Division League mini tournament. They have made plenty of signings in September and looks set to be in the pole position to secure a promotion to the I-League.
FC Bengaluru United
Nicholas Fernandes, Ronaldo Oliveira, Jason Vaz
FC Bengaluru United have signed strikers Ronaldo Oliveira and Jason Vaz along with winger Nicholas Fernandes. Oliveira’s transfer to the club was exclusively revealed by Khel Now Football a month ago. On the other hand, Fernandes joins the club from Gokulam Kerala FC on a five-month contract.
Gursimrat Singh Gill
The club has also roped in India U-19 international centre-back Gursimrat Singh Gill. The player has previously been a part of NorthEast United and also turned up for the reserves side of Bengaluru FC in BDFA Super Division.