The centre-back leaves after just six months at the club.

ATK Mohun Bagan have announced that defender Sandesh Jhingan has left the club after the expiry of his contract. The India international signed a short-term deal with the Mariners in January. But he has not been able to impress Juan Ferrando enough to be retained for the upcoming season.

Reports indicated that the 29-year-old has offers from Norway and Denmark among other countries. As many as three ISL clubs, including Bengaluru FC, have also expressed their interest in signing him.

Jhingan’s performances for ATKMB last season

The 29-year-old had made his return to ATK Mohun Bagan in the January transfer window after leaving HNK Sibenik. He was roped in to fix their defensive issues and made 10 appearances in total for them. That includes seven outings in the Indian Super League (ISL) in which they finished third and lost to Hyderabad FC in the playoffs.

Sandesh Jhingan also prominently featured in ATKMB’s AFC Cup campaign. He didn’t feature in their AFC Cup qualifying play-offs but made two appearances in the AFC Cup group stages. The Mariners won seven out of the ten games in which Jhingan played for them last season.

ATKMB’s new defensive signing reason for his departure?

Despite his solid outing, Ferrando’s side opted against offering him a new long-term deal. The major reason behind that is that ATKMB have already signed two overseas centre-backs for the new season. Indeed, the acquisition of Florentin Pogba and Brendan Hamill was probably why they decided to let the 29-year-old India international leave.

What lies in the future for him?

Jhingan’s release from ATKMB is guaranteed to gain a lot of attention from ISL clubs. Signing him as a free agent can be attractive for many. He remains one of the best centre-backs in the country and a bonified leader at the backline.

A lot of clubs can benefit from a commanding figure like him and also allow them to play foreign players in attacking areas. His aerial ability, pace and tendency to make clutch challenges can help significantly improve any Indian club’s defensive sturdiness.

The 29-year-old is yet to open up about his future but is likely to stay in India. His stint at the Croatian side Sibenik was marred by bad luck, with injuries plaguing his entire period. The injury trouble also didn’t allow him to make a competitive appearance for them. It was probably also a factor that ATKMB was concerned about and had to let him go.

Jhingan’s invaluable experience makes him an attractive free agent

Jhingan has a decade-long experience playing at the top of Indian football. He has plenty of expertise in the ISL, having spent many seasons with Kerala Blasters and the last few ones with ATKMB. The centre-back has made 107 appearances in the ISL, something not many current Indian internationals can match.

It remains to be seen what lies in the future for Sandesh Jhingan. But he is guaranteed to attract a lot of lucrative offers. He’ll probably accept the one which benefits his trophy-winning ambitions and desire to play at the very top of Asian football as well.

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