The 25-year-old has made 26 appearances for the Malabarians so far.

Salman Kalliyath – the midfielder who won the I-League title with Gokulam Kerala in the 2020-21 season – is all set to join Kerala United, Khel Now can confirm.

“Kerala United are close to completing the signing of Salman Kalliyath from Gokulam Kerala,” sources close to the developments informed Khel Now. If all goes according to plan, he will be announced as a player of the Hornbills in the coming days.

About the player

Salman kick-started his football career with MSP School in Malappuram, Kerala. He was a part of their team that reached the final of the Subroto Cup in 2012, where they got beaten by Dynamo Kyiv.

Consistent performances with MSP School led to Salman’s selection in the Malappuram district team. Eventually, he also reached the Kerala camp for the Santhosh Trophy. During this period, he was also a regular presence in regional sevens football tournaments. After stints with college and university teams, the midfielder launched his professional career in 2016 at United SC. Former player and coach Bino George is said to have played an important role in that move.

In the following year, Salman reunited with Bino George at Gokulam Kerala. Since then, he has been an important part of the team till the recently concluded 2020-21 season.

As mentioned earlier, Salman Kalliyath is primarily a midfielder. However, his versatility has allowed him to excel as a winger, striker and a wing-back, whenever needed. The 25-year-old has made 26 appearances for the Malabarians to-date – including one against Sunil Chhetri-led Bengaluru FC in Super Cup 2018. He has recorded one assist also, which came against Aizawl FC in I-League 2019-20.

Kerala United’s pre-season preparations

Kerala United did well in Kerala Premier League (KPL) 2020-21. They reached the knockout rounds after finishing second in Group B. In the semi-finals, Gokulam Kerala defeated them on penalties and brought an end to their campaign. Regardless, the Hornbills did well, especially for a team that were playing in their first-ever season.

Last summer, United World – the owners of then-Premier League side Sheffield United, Belgian Pro League club Beerschot FC and others – acquired Quartz FC and rechristened them as Kerala United. Playing their home games at the Seethi Haji Stadium in Edavanna, Malappuram, the club are now looking to reinforce their squad with more signings ahead of a potential entry into the Second Division League.

Former Kerala Blasters star Hrishidhath and ex-Bengaluru United and Minerva Punjab’s Akhil Praveen are among their squad, while Arjun Jayaraj recently confirmed to us that he is in talks with them for an extension on his contract.

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