After a tricky stint this season, Chennaiyin FC have started their business to steer their ship for the upcoming Indian Super League 2022-23 season. Anirudh Thapa also had a very topsy turvy season last year majorly due to injuries. But after recovering from the injuries, the Indian international pulled his game up in the latter part of the season. This season he started off with the same momentum and with the added captain's responsibility, the midfielder looks to be on a whole different level.
His never-ending energy in the midfield and late runs in the box has been tricky for the opponents. Added to that, Thapa's on-the-ball skills have always been one of the best in India. His impact on the Chennaiyin side has been impeccable. Overall he has been one of the best players in the league this season.
With such humungous performances in his back, Thapa has struck a lot of the club's radar for the upcoming season. The Bridge can exclusively confirm that three ISL sides had a proper interest for the seasoned star.
Chennaiyin is home to Thapa!
Aniruddh Thapa shares a great rapport with the Chennaiyin side. Since joining the club in 2016, Thapa has won the Indian Super League once and reached the final twice with the club. He has also won the emerging player of the season playing for the southern side. A lot of offers have come in his way in the last couple of years but it's the rapport that both CFC and Thapa enjoy has continued the journey.
Chennaiyin started their part to extend their prized possession's stay long before. As a part of this process, Thapa who throughout the years has portrayed a crucial role for the club was given the responsibility to lead the side this season. And it was the first step from the desperate and smart CFC think tank to cement things by their side.
The Bridge understands that Thapa has made his decision to extend his stay with Chennaiyin. Sources keeping a track of the development confirmed that Chennai offered a two-year contract with a lot of added plush to retain their "Wonder Kid".
ATK Mohun Bagan's long time interest
ATK Mohun Bagan's interest in the versatile midfielder is not anything new. The Green and Maroon brigade tried their luck last season, only to see Thapa signing an extension deal.
With Bagan's midfield not functioning at its best this season, they need someone like Thapa more than ever. ATK Mohun Bagan's deep pockets and ambition are not unknown to anyone. So the Mariners have once again risen as one of the front runners to pen in Anirudh Thapa.
City Group exploring options
If anyone has caused transfer trouble to ATK Mohun Bagan in the recent past, it is undoubtedly Mumbai City FC. The City Group-owned side are once again the main competitor for the Kolkata giants in the race for Thapa.
With Des Buckingham at the helm, the Mumbai side is cruising away in the league. Buckingham's unique counter-pressing system will not only help Thapa to reach the next level but also will make an already strong Mumbai team stronger.
Surprising Third Contender
The management also did their job perfectly and made some shrewd signings to help him. Signing Thapa will be a herculean task for the Kalinga warriors. But if they can pull it off, this will be a very big statement from them.