The Indian international had joined the Islanders on loan in January.
Mumbai City FC are set to sign on-loan Indian midfielder Vinit Rai on a permanent basis, Khel Now can confirm. The Indian midfielder initially joined the club on loan from Odisha FC in the second half of last season. Talks are ongoing between the two clubs regarding the structure of the deal.
“Vinit Rai set to stay at Mumbai City FC. Mumbai have decided to sign Rai in a permanent deal,” a source close to the developments informed Khel Now. “Talks between OFC and MCFC going on to structure the deal”.
About the Player
Rai was scouted by the Duliajan Football Academy and later by the Tata Football Academy. After graduating from the Tata Football Academy, he signed with I-League side Dempo. He entered the 2014-15 season as the youngest member of the Dempo squad. After spending the majority of the season in the club’s youth team, Rai made his professional debut on 1 March 2015.
He helped his side gain promotion to the I-League. Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters swooped in for the midfielder and signed him in September 2016. He made his debut for the team on 1 October 2016. But, he only made two appearances for the club, before joining fellow ISL side Odisha FC for the 2019-20 campaign.
Rai became a mainstay in the side and made a total of 70 appearances for the Juggernauts. He also scored his only goal in professional football for Odisha. The Indian midfielder also went on to captain his side. But, he was loaned out to the then ISL defending champions Mumbai City for the second part of last season.
Rai went on to make nine appearances for the Mumbai club in the Indian Super League. While he was also included in the club’s 2022 AFC Champions League squad. He made five appearances for the side in the 2022 AFC Champions League.
Mumbai City FC’s preparations for ISL 2022/23
After a mid-table finish last season, Mumbai City picked up form in the AFC Champions League 2022, with a second-place finish in a group consisting of three-time ACF Cup winners Air Force club of Iraq, Saudi giants AL Shabab and UAE Pro League champions Al Jazira FC.
In the transfer market, the Islanders have also completed the signings of ISL 2021-22 Player of the Season winner Greg Stewart and former ATK Mohun Bagan striker David Willians. Earlier, the club had also announced the departure of Igor Angulo, Diego Maurício, Cássio Gabriel, Bradden Inman and Mohamad Rakip.