The domestic market is seeing a frenzy of activity as the new season draws closer.
The Indian football season is still a few months away, but the clubs are wasting no time whatsoever to tick the right boxes and bring in the right players to their ranks. The transfer battle has gathered pace as teams have already lined up to rectify the mistakes they made last season by bringing some new faces to the league.
We start down in the south where, Rino Anto makes his return to Bengaluru FC from Kerala Blasters. The Thrissur born right-back had been the mainstay for Kerala Blasters over the last two seasons, but due to an unexpected and prolonged delay in renewing his contract, he decided to return to Bengaluru where he has had the most success as a player. The 30-year old defender has signed a two-year deal and the club announced his arrival with a wonderfully shot video posted on social media.
The Kerala outfit also roped in Kerala’s Santosh Trophy winning squad member Jithin MS in a three-year contract with a transfer fee of Rs 5 lakh from FC Kerala.
Next up, there’s another big transfer that has taken place and its something for the Blasters to cheer about. Its the homecoming of local boy Anas Edathodika who will be seen donning the yellow jersey of Kerala. Edathodika had an injury-blighted season for Jamshedpur FC last time out and will look to improve on it with his local club, where he will be partnered with national team defensive partner Sandesh Jhingan. The southerners have also signed goalkeeping duo Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem and Naveen Kumar for the upcoming season.
— Mumbai City FC (@MumbaiCityFC) June 8, 2018
Elsewhere, Mumbai City have also made some valuable additions to the side with Subhasish Bose already signed. They got hold of the versatile Souvik Chakrabarti from Jamshedpur FC. Termed as India’s fittest player, Souvik can play in multiple positions in midfield or in defence. The 25-year old is a really good utility player and one which every manager wishes to have. The Islanders have also signed Mohammed Rafique on a two-year deal.
Speaking of defenders, Islanders defender Raju Gaikwad has gone the other way and joined Jamshedpur FC. The 27-year old has plenty of experience having played for several I-league and ISL clubs in the past and will be seen plying his trade for the Men of Steel. There’s more news related to the Tata Steel-owned franchise as defender Robin Gurung has extended his contract with the club staying with them till 2019.
Now coming to the I-League, after signing Gift Raikhan as their new manager, Aizawl FC have also named their new foreign striker, Chidi Edeh. The Nigerian is no stranger to Indian football having plied his trade for several clubs including Dempo, Sporting Goa, Salgaocar, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and so on.
Now coming to NEROCA FC, after the appointment of their new manager Manuel Fraile they have now roped in a new assistant manager in Wangkheirakpam Shyamjai Metei. The 37-year-old is an AFC B Licence holder and an expert in developing youth.
He did an impressive job at Minerva Punjab developing the youngsters there and has a lot of experience to help head coach Fraile. Speaking of youngsters, NEROCA have also signed defensive duo Naocha Singh and Mohammad Abdul Salam as well as former FC Pune City player Sebastian Thangmuansang.
Lastly, Chennai City who had several issues in their backline have taken some initiative by signing foreign goalkeeper Jerrard Tyson. Along with Tyson, they have also secured local talent Pravitto Raju as well former Atletico Madrid B player Nestor Gordillo.
— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) June 25, 2018
Bengaluru FC has also snapped up Bhutanese sensation, Chencho Gyeltshen from reigning I-League champions Minerva Punjab. Another player who has left the champions in search of a new challenge is defender Kamalpreet Singh. The youngster penned down a bumper deal with East Bengal. The Blues have also roped in Kean Lewis from FC Pune City for the upcoming season.
Kolkata outfit ATK have been active in the transfer market lately and have already roped in multiple big names. Kalu Uche (Delhi Dynamos), Manuel Lanzarote (FC Goa), John Johnson (Bengaluru FC), Pronay Halder (FC Goa), Avilash Paul (Aizawl FC), Aiborlang Khongjee, Sena Ralte (Delhi Dynamos), Balwant Singh (Mumbai City), Cavin Lobo (East Bengal), SK. Faiaz (Mohun Bagan) have all joined up with the two-time ISL champions. They have also appointed former Kerala Blasters and Jamshedpur FC gaffer Steve Coppell as the head coach for the upcoming season.
After their torrid season, Delhi Dynamos are also not holding back, as they have roped in FC Goa defender Narayan Das. Having already signed crucial players like Bikramjit Singh from Chennaiyin FC and Daniel Lalhimpuia from Bengaluru FC, Das will add valuable experience to the capital-based outfit, especially at the back.
There’s also good news for FC Pune City, as their star player Adil Khan has penned down a two-year contract extension with the Stallions. Bengaluru FC midfielder Lenny Rodrigues has returned to his local club, FC Goa. There’s more news for Kerala Blasters as their 20-year old midfielder Siam Hanghal has joined Delhi Dynamos.
I-league newcomers Real Kashmir made their first move as their head coach David Robertson convinced his son Mason to join the Leopards for the upcoming season.
— Chennaiyin F.C. ???????? (@ChennaiyinFC) June 22, 2018
Jamshedpur FC also made their move as they snapped up former Mohun Bagan, FC Goa and Chennaiyin defender Sanjay Balmuchu. The 26-year-old will add more experience to the backline as he has played for some of the top clubs in India. He will be joining former Chennaiyin teammate and left-back Dhanachandra Singh at the club. The 31-year-old has also penned a one-year contract with the Men of Steel.
Finally, 19-year-old right-back Laldinliana Renthlei joins the club from Mizoram Premier League champions Chhinga Veng after he completed a loan spell at Aizawl FC.