Bengaluru FC defender Rahul Bheke is set to join Mumbai City FC at the end of the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) campaign, The Bridge can confirm. The 30-year-old’s contract with the Blues expires in May 2021 and it is understood that he will join the Islanders after that.
It has been a strange season for Bengaluru FC and Bheke himself. The side has had to overcome a number of hurdles in the form of injuries, a collective loss in form and to top it all, former head coach Carles Cuadrat’s departure. Naushad Moosa came in to steady the ship and although the team has since shown glimpses of what they are capable of when in full flow, one would imagine that this summer will be crucial for them in terms of recruitment. Moreover, with new head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli set to join up with the side soon, more changes are in the offing.
Bengaluru’s 2020-21 campaign is perfectly exemplified by Bheke’s travails in defence. Most comfortable as a right-back, he has had to slot in as the left-back in Ashique Kuruniyan’s absence and hasn’t had much joy in that role. Even so, he remains one of the most dependable defenders in the league, especially during attacking transitions, and wouldn’t have had a lack of suitors. The fact that he will be moving to Sergio Lobera’s star-studded Mumbai City further illustrates how highly he is rated.
After being picked up in the 2017-18 draft, Bheke has been one of the few constants for the Blues over the last four seasons. His most memorable contribution during that time has to be the title-winning header in the 2018-19 final against FC Goa. Although this would be a bittersweet ending for the India international at one of the most successful Indian clubs in recent history, he would undoubtedly be looking forward to playing under Lobera and reestablishing himself as one of the best right-backs in the country.