The duo has played at some of Europe’s top clubs previously.
Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Kerala Blasters are all set to complete the signings of striker Gary Hooper and Costa Nhamoinesu, Khel Now can confirm. Both players will join the club on season-long deals, with official announcements expected in the days to come.
Back in August, Khel Now had first reported that Gary Hooper was in talks with Kerala Blasters and a few weeks later, a deal was in place for the English striker. Similarly, the Kochi-outfit also managed to rope in Zimbabwean defender Costa, who has previously played under Kibu Vicuna, while he was the assistant coach at Polish club Zaglebie Lubin in 2011.
34-year-old Nhamoinesu started his professional football career in his home country, before shifting base to Europe and joining WSS Wisla, a Poland-based club in 2008. Six months later, he joined Zaglebie Lubin where he played for five seasons before signing with Czech First League side AC Sparta Prague ahead of the 2013-14 season. In the past seven years, he racked up over 200 appearances including 40 matches across the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. He finally bid adieu to them at the end of the last season but by then, he had been acknowledged as a club legend.
Meanwhile, Hooper last featured for Australian A-League club Wellington Phoenix in the recently concluded 2019-20 season and played a key role in the club’s third-place finish, by netting eight goals and providing five assists. The 32-year-old has also played for Norwich City, Sheffield Wednesday, Celtic and Leyton Orient among other clubs. He also holds the unique distinction of being the first and only player so far to score in the Premier League, EFL Championship, EFL League One, EFL League Two, FA Cup, English League Cup, Football League Trophy, FA Trophy, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, Scottish Cup, Scottish League Cup and the Scottish Premiership.
Kerala Blasters, on the other hand, are making progress in the ongoing summer transfer window, with new head coach Vicuna and sporting director Karolis Skinkys keen on a major squad overhaul to banish the demons from their dismal performances last season. They have already announced the foreign signings of attacking midfielder Facundo Pereyra and defensive midfielder Vicente Gomez, while Sergio Cidoncha is expected to be retained for another year.
The Yellow Army have two pending foreign acquisitions and Khel Now can confirm that they are looking at another centre-back and a striker to fill those gaps. As per our sources, signing an Asian forward is KBFC’s next immediate objective, after which they will proceed with finding a foreign defender.