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ISL Weekly Transfer Updates: Roca set to leave for Barcelona; Mumbai City sign Ogbeche, Le Fondre to follow?

ISL Weekly Transfer Updates: Roca set to leave for Barcelona; Mumbai City sign Ogbeche, Le Fondre to follow?


Published: 28 Aug 2020 8:51 AM GMT

Indian Super League (ISL) clubs are in the thick of transfer business and we are here with our weekly round-up of what went on with regards to player signings, coach announcements and more in Indian football.

# Ogbeche bids adieu, Le Fondre to Mumbai and more

Bartholomew Ogbeche, one of the most prolific and deadliest strikers in the Indian Super League (ISL), has said his final goodbyes to his Kerala Blasters teammates in a Whatsapp message ahead of a much-anticipated move to Mumbai City FC. The Blasters, on their part, have already started looking for an ideal replacement and are reportedly in talks with Wellington Phoenix striker Gary Hooper.

Meanwhile, after securing Ogbeche’s signing, Mumbai also want to rope in Sydney FC star Adam Le Fondre, who will be in action in this Sunday’s A-League Grand final. The English forward is one of the highest scoring players in the A-League over the last two seasons and has attracted the attention of a lot of ISL clubs this summer.

Adam Le Fondre Adam Le Fondre (Source: FoxSports Asia)

Initially, Hyderabad FC, FC Goa, and Bengaluru FC were interested but then Mumbai entered the race. In recent weeks, the City Football Group (CFG)-backed team have been in advanced talks with Le Fondre’s representatives and a decision is expected soon after Sunday’s match.

Meanwhile, Jamshedpur FC are also understood to be in advanced talks with Brazilian midfielder Alex Lima who has previously worked with Owen Coyle at Houston Dynamo in the Major League Soccer (MLS).

Elsewhere, Hyderabad FC, who recently anenounced a partnership with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund, hav finalised the signing of Australian winger Joel Chianese. Reports further suggest that Hyderabad are also in talks with Brazilian midfielder Joao Victor.

# Ajith Kumar headlines domestic transfers

As reported by us, Bengaluru FC paid a significant transfer fee, believed to be in the region of INR 30 lakhs, to I-League side Chennai City FC to secure the signing of young left back Ajith Kumar on a three-year contract, the club confirmed this week.


Ajith’s journey from beginning his professional career at CCFC just two seasons back, helping them win the I-League title in his first season, and then commanding a transfer fee, usually unheard of in Indian football, attracted many eyeballs. Many reported that the transfer fee paid was one of the highest in the country, it being INR 60 lakhs. However, we can confirm with certainty that the actual sum was around half of it.

ATK Mohun Bagan FC also confirmed the signing of India international Manvir Singh from FC Goa on a record transfer fee of INR 80 lakhs.

Among other domestic transfer news, Chennaiyin FC handed out fresh contracts to Germanpreet Singh and youngsters Aman Chetri, Reamsochung ‘Remi’ Aimol and goalkeeper Samik Mitra.

Jamshedpur FC announced the signing of former ATK defender Ricky Lallawmawma while Kerala Blasters reportedly roped in Naorem Mahesh Singh from Shillong Lajong.

# NorthEast announce new coach, Roca set to leave for Barcelona

NorthEast United FC announced the appointment of their new coach, Gerard Nus, this week. The 35-year-old Spaniard, who is a UEFA Pro License holder, takes over from interim boss Khalid Jamil. Jamil had replaced Robert Jarni in February after the Croation was sacked following a poor run of results.


Nus used to be a member of Liverpool's backroom staff before he got into mainstream coaching. He had stints at Brighton and Melbourne Heart before becoming the assistant coach of the Ghana national team led by Avram Grant.

Elsewhere, Hyderabad FC coach Albert Roca is tempted to terminate his contract and leave the club. Newly-appointed FC Barcelona manager Ronaldo Koeman has apparently called Roca up and asked him to be a part of his coaching staff. Aside from working at a big club like Barcelona and coaching the best footballers in the world, Roca stands to earn at least thrice of what he earns currently.

Understandably, it is only a matter of time before he leaves Hyderabad FC and the ISL club, which debuted last season, has already started looking for replacements. Sources have informed that the management have begun talks with former national team boss Stephen Constantine and a few other coaches although they are yet to zero in on anyone yet.

Chennaiyin FC are the only other club who are still to appoint a head coach after Owen Coyle departed and joined Jamshedpur FC. It is understood that the two-time champions and last season’s runners-up have shortlisted a few names and an announcement can be expected soon.

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