Diego Mauricio in advanced talks with Odisha FC to extend stay
The Brazilian was the Juggernauts’ highest scorer in the previous season.
Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Odisha FC are keen to secure the services of striker Diego Mauricio for an additional term, Khel Now can confirm. The club have also offered the Brazilian a new contract after talks concluded positively. However, the player is yet to sign and extend his stay with the club.
“Odisha FC are interested to retain Diego Mauricio. The striker was one of the best-performing players for the club last season. Hence, it’s no surprise that they want him to continue with them,” a source close to the development informed Khel Now.
Khel Now also understands that talks have concluded positively, which implies that Diego Mauricio may also be keen to remain with Odisha FC. “Odisha FC have offered him a new contract and they are currently waiting for his signature,” the source added.
Diego Mauricio’s career so far
Mauricio began his career by rising through the ranks at Brazilian top-division club Flamengo. He made his senior debut for them in 2010 and partnered with legendary footballer Ronaldinho.
Stints at multiple clubs in Brazil, Serbia, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, China and South Korea followed, before the 30-year-old shifted base to India. A former Brazil U-20 player, Mauricio has previously played with the likes of Phillipe Coutinho, Casemiro, Oscar, Felipe Anderson, Roberto Firmino and Neymar.
In his debut season in the Indian Super League, Diego Mauricio clocked 1608 minutes across 20 games for Odisha. He registered 12 goals along with two assists for the club. He finished third in the race for the Golden Boot, behind FC Goa’s Igor Angulo and ATK Mohun Bagan’s Roy Krishna.
The forward was often the lone shining star in an otherwise below-par Juggernauts’ set-up. This is evident from the fact that he scored nearly half of his club’s 25 goals in the campaign. If all goes to plan, the Brazilian will feature for them in ISL 2021-22 as well.
Odisha FC’s pre-season preparations
After finishing at the bottom of the table in ISL 2020-21, Odisha are looking forward to perform better in the forthcoming season. As a result, they have been actively signing players in the summer.
Their first acquisition was Spanish legend David Villa, who has joined as their Global Football Ambassador. The former FIFA World Cup winner’s agency ‘DV7’ is also set to play a key role in their overseas signings. The other new arrivals include Sebastian Thangmuansang, Sahil Panwar, Lalruatthara and Isaac Vanmalsawma.
Following the sacking of former head coach Stuart Baxter, the Juggernauts are also in the hunt for his replacement.