Transfer wrap: Diego Mauricio returns to Odisha FC; Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa add foreign recruits

Odisha FC strengthened their attack with the signature of former forward Diego Mauricio on a one-year deal ahead of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-21 season.

The Brazilian striker played for Odisha FC in Hero ISL 2020-21 campaign when he scored 12 goals and provided two assists in 20 games for the club.

Mauricio then joined Mumbai City FC in January earlier this year scoring three times in the Hero ISL for the Islanders.

The 31-year-old scored twice in Mumbai City FC’s AFC Champions League campaign helping them do the double over Iraq’s Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya allowing the Islanders to finish second in the group.

After a brief yet impressive spell with Mumbai City FC, Mauricio is now back with Odisha FC to spearhead their attack.

"I am so happy to welcome him (Diego) back to Odisha. He is a player who has already proven his quality in India, scoring goals for Odisha FC and Mumbai City FC,” Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau said about the appointment.

“I think that Diego is a very big addition to our squad. I wish him all the best for the new season and I am sure with Diego's hard work, we'll have a scoring flair in our team,” he added.

Mauricio is the club’s third foreign signing after Carlos Delgado and Osama Malik.

FC Goa secure Syrian defender Fares Arnaout

FC Goa have completed the permanent signing of Syrian international centre-back Fares Arnaout on a one-year deal. The 25-year-old becomes the Club’s third new arrival this off-season, following hot on the heels of Alvaro Vazquez and Arshdeep Singh.

This, though, won’t be his first visit to India. The defender was part of the Syrian squad that played in the 2019 Hero Intercontinental Cup where he started against India in a 1-1 draw.

Speaking to fcgoa.in following the completion of all formalities Arnaout said, “I am thrilled at the prospect of playing for FC Goa. It’s a big challenge for me - to come to India and show people what I am all about and I’m already excited thinking about the start of the new season.

“I have only heard and seen on screen, the Goans’ passion for football and it gives me a sense of pride to be given the opportunity to represent them. I will do my utmost to bring success to the Club.”

The youngster has 10 caps to his name after making his debut in the 2019 Hero Intercontinental Cup in India. His latest outing for his country came in June 2021 in the FIFA Arab Cup.

Chennaiyin FC bolster attack with Ghanian striker Kwame Karikari

Chennaiyin FC have bolstered their attack by signing forward Kwame Karikari ahead of the upcoming season.

The Ghanaian footballer will be joining the Marina Machans following an impressive outing in the Thai League for Nakhonratchasima Mazda. He scored 13 goals in 29 league matches for the Thai club last season.

Karikari was also the joint second highest goal scorer for Mazda in the Thai FA cup with four strikes from six games.

Karikari brings invaluable experience to Chennaiyin’s attack, having played 261 games in his 11-year-long professional career with 84 goals and 13 assists to his name.

The striker has plied his trade for 12 clubs in eight top-tier leagues across the world.

He also has two Europa League goals to his name, which came against CSKA Moscow and PSV Eindhoven in 2012.

Talking about the club’s third foreign signing this summer, Chennaiyin FC co-owner Vita Dani said: “I would like to welcome Kwame Karikari to the Chennaiyin family. I think he’s got the technical ability and the physicality to succeed in India. We have had many great forwards at this club and I believe Kwame should be able to match those standards.”

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