ISL: Bengaluru FC finalising move to sign ex-Perth Glory star Tomislav Mrcela
Bengaluru FC are set to finalise a deal to sign the former Perth Glory defender and Aussie international centre-back Tomislav Mrcela.
After a disappointing Indian Super League (ISL) season, Bengaluru FC have moved to bolster their squad ahead of the club's 2020-21 AFC Cup campaign by lining up what could prove to be a defining signing for them.
The Bridge understands that the club are set to finalise a deal to sign the former Perth Glory defender and Aussie international centre-back Tomislav Mrcela.
Bengaluru endured a tough season as they underwhelmed in the ISL, finishing outside of the top 4 for the first time since they entered the league. Consequently, Carles Cuadrat was replaced with Marco Pezzaiuoli as the head coach and it was evident that more changes were incoming.
The Blues' defence line which conceded a total of 28 goals in 20 matches — only three bottom-placed teams let in more — looked shaky and vulnerable throughout the ISL, and it was bound to undergo an overhaul and Mrcela has emerged as an ideal fit.
The 30-year-old centre back had joined Perth Glory in 2018 on a 2-year contract. During his stay at the club, he won the A-League premiership and contributed massively.
"I had a great two years here which I think, overall, were two successful years for the club. I hope we gave the Members and fans some joy and I would like to thank them all.
"I'm taking many great memories away, leaving as a better man and a better player and who knows what the future brings?" Mrcela said at the time of his departure from Perth.
Sources say that the situation is already in the final stages and if everything goes according to plan, Mrcela will turn out for the Blues in their AFC Cup Preliminary Stage Two fixture on April 14th.
With Mrcela's signing (if it goes through), Bengaluru would have six foreigners in their ranks in Goa. Apart from the Aussie, Cleiton Silva, Dimas Delgado, Eric Paartalu, Juanan and new signing Yrondu Musavu-King have all been training with the team. In fact, Cleiton, Dimas, Paartalu and Juanan were involved in a friendly game against FC Goa on Monday afternoon.
Under such circumstances, it will be interesting to see which four foreigners Bengaluru FC put their trust on for the AFC Cup (remember, the foreign quota for continental tournaments is 3+1). At the moment they have three specialised defenders in Juanan, Musavu-King and Mrcela.