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FC Goa close to welcoming 'crowd favourite' back, sources reveal

Written by: Ravish R Narvekar

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The Gaurs look set in terms of their ideas and have created the most buzz in the transfer market before the upcoming ISL season...

After parting ways with the ever-present Brazilian talisman Zico from the dugout, FC Goa seem to have done everything right in the transfer market. The Gaurs replaced the World Cup winner with Sergio Lobero Rodriguez, a Spanish tactician known for his brilliant work at the Barcelona youth academy.

The coach has not dreaded a lot of new territories, having brought in first season's sailor Bruno Pinheiro. The manager, then, went on to retain the services of capable custodian Laxmikant Kattimani and young prodigy Mandar Rao Dessai. The manager also managed a coup, bringing Manuel Arana to the beach city, a talented Brisbane Roar midfielder. 

Also Read: FC Goa set to unveil first signing for 2017-18

It seems Rodriguez is keeping his cards close to his chest, and with a long season ahead, is looking into intrinsic details before every signing. The club, according to Khel Now sources, is in talks with another former player. Regarded as many by the Gaurs' player of the tournament for 2016, the Spanish creative lynchpin waged a lone war as FC Goa crashed to the bottom of the table last season.

Jofre Mateu, according to our sources, is close to making a return to FC Goa. The 37-year-old left-footed wizard is known for his vision and ability on the ball. Easily capable of playing more roles than one on the pitch, Jofre has also plied his trade for ISL side Atletico de Kolkata in the first season, a club with which he romped to the title. 

Read the new coach's history here: FC Goa replace Zico, appoint Sergio Rodriguez as new head coach

Jofre has formerly played for Spanish sides Real Valladolid, Espanyol and the B-side of European heavyweights FC Barcelona. Mateu is certain to add a defining dimension to the Goan side. With Bruno Pinheiro and Manuel Arana already in the books, FC Goa fans can certainly expect a midfield of three foreigners. 

Also Read: FC GOA signs Spanish midfielder Manuel Arana

If Sergio Rodriguez plays all of them at the same time, Bruno will be expected to be the holding midfielder and do the dirty work, Arana is expected to don the role of a box to box midfielder and take the responsibility of transition of game-play and Jofre will be adding firepower up ahead as a second striker or a creative No. 10. If this plan is put in place, the side will look menacing on the pitch. 

 

Published: Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:57 PM IST

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