The midfielder is said to be open to move to the lower leagues for regular game time.

Indian Super League outfit Kerala Blasters are set to part ways with midfielder Arjun Jayaraj by mutual consent, Khel Now has learned. The 24-year-old had been a part of the Kerala Blasters squad that is currently within the ISL bio-bubble in Goa for the 2020-21 season of the competition.

“Kerala Blasters and Arjun Jayaraj have mutually agreed terms on a contract termination,” a source close to the development informed Khel Now. It was in 2019 that the club signed him on a three-year deal, which was supposed to conclude by the end of the 2021-22 season. They were also not keen on letting him go right now, and had instead looked for options to loan him out.

Khel Now further understands that he was even offered to certain ISL and I-League sides, but the player was interested to leave the club in search for first-team action elsewhere.

Arjun Jayaraj began his senior career at the Calicut University football team, with whom he won the All India Inter-University Championship. His performances with them led to his signing with Gokulam Kerala in 2017, after he scored against them in a friendly match.

The midfielder debuted for his new side in the 2017-18 Kerala Premier League (KPL) and scored a goal in the final to help his team lift the trophy. He made his I-League debut the same season against Indian Arrows on December 22, and a month later, scored his maiden goal for the club – a 90th-minute winner against Shillong Lajong. He also played two games in the Super Cup later that year, against NorthEast United and Bengaluru FC.

At the end of the 2018-19 season, Kerala Blasters signed Arjun for a transfer fee of ₹21 lakhs. However, he suffered an injury during the pre-season. Eelco Schattorie – Kerala Blasters’ then head coach – was thus forced to exclude the player from their ISL squad list as he had ruled out of the entire season.

The COVID-19-enforced lockdown then played a role in Arjun’s delayed recovery, but he recovered in time for Kerala Blasters to include him in the pre-season squad that travelled to Goa ahead of the 2020-21 ISL. A month later, he was also announced as included in the Kerala Blasters’ final squad for the ISL.

So far, Arjun had been unable to find a spot in the matchday squads of Kerala Blasters. Our sources have informed us that he has since taken the decision to leave and seek greener pastures – preferably in any of the lower leagues including the I-League and I-League 2nd Division. Official statements regarding these developments can be expected from both the club and the player in the days to come.

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