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Rumours: Mohun Bagan and Kerala Blasters go head to head for ATK star

Rumours: Mohun Bagan and Kerala Blasters go head to head for ATK star

Prachyaprachetah Sarkar

Published: 27 Dec 2019 11:02 AM GMT

English defender John Johnson has roped in two big offers from both the I-League and the Indian Super League (ISL), The Bridge can confirm.

The 31-year-old Middlesbrough youth academy graduate has mutually brought to an end to his current contract with Kolkata-based ISL side ATK FC this month as sources close to The Bridge can confirm.

Johnson played a key role for ATK defence last season under the then coach Steve Coppell. However, he struggled to get game time under new coach Antonio Lopes Habas.

Johnson during his stint at Bengaluru FC

Initially, it was a hamstring injury for the defender that forced him out but thereafter, the impressive performances of new recruits Agus Garcia and Carl McHugh in the defence made the situation harder for Johnson to make find a place in the line up.

Johnson first came to India when he signed for Bengaluru FC where he played a key role for the JSW-owned side till 2018, winning two I-League and two Federation Cup trophues.

Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan are now in talks with the experienced defender to sign him. The former I-league champions are in search of a man for their defence after Daniel Cyrus was ruled out for rest of the season.

Kerala Blasters FC are also interested in signing Johnson as they look to strengthen their defensive lineup. The Eelco Schattorie-coached side has struggled to add a compact shape to their defence this season, they have been hit with continuous injuries to their key defenders starting from Sandesh Jhingan followed by Jairo Rogrigues and Gianni Zuiverloon.

All the three defenders have been ruled out of the major part of the league, thus forcing the Blasters management to rethink their options.

It must be noted that both Bagan and Blasters are in initial talks with Johnson and it might take some time for either club to confirm the signing.

Currently, Johnson is on a vacation with his family in Dubai and is expected to make a move by the second transfer window in January. We have to wait and see who wins the race for the defender.

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