The 21-year-old won the Durand Cup and I-League with the Malabarians.

Indian Super League (ISL) reigning champions Mumbai City are currently working on strengthening their squad ahead of the 2021-22 season. Meanwhile, Khel Now can confirm that they are all set to complete the signing of Gokulam Kerala’s Naocha Singh, as a part of their squad reinforcement process.

“Mumbai City are close to wrapping up the signing of Naocha Singh,” a source close to the developments informed Khel Now. We have also learnt that the player will join the Islanders on a multi-year deal.

About Naocha Singh

A full-back by trade, Huidrom Naocha Singh began his professional career with NEROCA FC, where he featured for the U-18 team. In 2017, he shifted base to TRAU, who were then playing in the Second Division League. Naocha was named as part of two matchday squads of the Imphal outfit in the 2017-18 season, before he returned to NEROCA the following year. He made his I-League debut in NEROCA’s 2-0 win over Real Kashmir on November 11, 2018.

The 21-year-old made more I-League appearances that season, after which Gokulam Kerala signed him. The Malabarians immediately made him a part of the squad who were preparing to take part in the Durand Cup, which they eventually won. They defeated Mohun Bagan 2-1 in the final and it was Naocha who assisted their second goal scored by Marcus Joseph.

In the 2019-20 I-League, the youngster played in 14 matches for GKFC before the season was called off due to COVID-19. He made 15 more appearances for the Malabarians in 2020-21, which concluded with them winning the title.

Mumbai City’s preparations

Naocha Singh played an important role in Gokulam Kerala’s I-League success. But, now, he will make the step up from the league and join Mumbai City in the ISL. The Islanders had an excellent season themselves. They topped the league stages, earned qualification to the AFC Champions League 2022 and also won the ISL title by beating ATK Mohun Bagan in the final. Under Sergio Lobera, they have emerged as one of the strongest teams in the league.

With the AFC Champions League in sight, the Mumbai outfit are now strengthening their squad further. They have already extended the terms of Bipin Singh, Amey Ranawade, Pranjal Bhumij, Valpuia and Vignesh Dakshinamurthy. More signings and contract extensions will follow in the weeks to come.

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