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Indian Transfer Roundup: Kerala Blasters set for squad overhaul, I-League stars to ISL


Teams are already gearing up for the next season and Khel Now brings you the latest from a busy market.

Indian football witnessed a massive 2017-18 season. From hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup to the Indian Super League (ISL) and the I-League running parallel to each other, football fans across the country had many occasions to enjoy this season.

But, with all the buzz currently going on about the Super Cup, things that are happening behind the scenes are hardly catching anyone's attention. Indian football has developed in several aspects like youth development to having professionalism in player contracts, the game is definitely on the rise.

For some clubs, this turned out to be a 'dream season', which however, was not the case for many others. Low-budget clubs like NEROCA FC, Minerva Punjab had a fairy-tale journey this season whereas sides like Kerala Blasters and ATK, who came boasting a star-studded squad, failed to make their mark in the league.

However, teams are already gearing up for the next campaign and many vital transfers are taking place. Kerala Blasters had a season to forget and as part of overhauling their squad next season, the team is all set to drop many of their key players, Khel Now understands.

CK Vineeth, who had a moderate season with the southern outfit, is in talks with multiple ISL sides, sources close to the player have confirmed. Vineeth, who is renowned as a clinical finisher struggled to score goals for Blasters this season, resulting in their poor performance in the attacking third.


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Blasters' captain Sandesh Jhingan, too, has received multiple offers from ISL sides, Khel Now has learnt. Jhingan, who has been with Kerala since the inception of the ISL, was a vital cog in David James' squad this season. His former club Bengaluru FC have also shown interest in the player, while ATK and Chennaiyin are also in the race to secure his services. However, Jhingan has a contract with Kerala until 2019, meaning the clubs will have to pay a transfer fee if a move takes place.

Elsewhere, as Khel Now earlier reported, Steve Coppell has not yet penned down a new deal with Jamshedpur FC.  ATK, who had a horrendous season this time around in the league are looking to bring in Coppell as a possible replacement for Robbie Keane, we understand.

However, there are also reports that the Kolkata-based side are after their former ISL-winning manager Jose Molina. ATK enjoyed a stunning campaign in 2016 under the Spaniard and with a rare failure this season the Kolkata outfit wants to come roaring back next term. The Spaniard is still connected with Atletico Madrid in Spain and has to leave them to join the club from Kolkata.

Sereno is looking for a possible exit from Chennaiyin FC

Henrique Sereno had an incredible season marshalling Chennaiyin's defence. The former ATK defender stood tenaciously at the back for the eventual champions. However, Sereno's future is uncertain and sources suggest he might leave the southern outfit. He has also received offers from a few other ISL sides.

When Minerva stunned Indian football this season, Chencho Gyeltshen hogged the limelight after putting up a stellar show for the North Indian side. His performances have invited interests from many ISL and I-League sides, Khel Now understands. If all goes well, the Bhutan international will don ISL colours come next season.

Meanwhile, FC Pune City have cancelled Bilal Khan's loan spell with Gokulam Kerala and are all set to extend his stay with the club until 2022. The former Churchill Brothers shot-stopper had offers from I-League clubs like Minerva Punjab, Mohun Bagan, and from ISL sides. However, Pune City were quick to start negotiations with him and the deal is said to have been verbally agreed.  

Santu Singh, a member of West Bengal's Santosh Trophy-winning side last year and Gokulam Kerala defender, might join another I-League outfit. The Kolkata-born player is already under the radar of two I-League sides, Khel Now understands.

Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan winger Nikhil Kadam is close to signing a deal with NorthEast United. The wide player was also approached by Jamshedpur and Delhi Dynamos but chose to commit his future to the Highlanders instead. Jamshedpur and Delhi are also monitoring Bengaluru FC left-back Nishu Kumar's situation closely and are expected to try to lure the defender away from Kanteerava Stadium in the near future.

Finally, ATK are looking at members of the Santosh Trophy side which lost in the final of the tournament a few days ago. The Kolkata franchise has called-up Ankit Mukherjee for a trial with the side and will be deciding on his future in the next few days.

Published: Mon Apr 09, 2018 02:27 PM IST


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