Transfer wrap: Mumbai City FC sign Lallianzuala Chhangte on a permanent deal, Kerala Blasters FC rope in Saurav Mandal and more

Mumbai City FC have signed versatile attacking talent Lallianzuala Chhangte on a permanent deal ahead of the upcoming season of Hero Indian Super League (ISL). The midfielder has penned down a three years deal with the Islanders having joined them on loan from Chennaiyin FC in January, the club announced on Tuesday.

Chhangte began his Hero ISL career at the Northeast United FC in 2016. A year later, he moved to the Delhi Dynamos where he played for two seasons. Before joining the Islanders on a six-month loan in January 2022, the midfielder played for Chennaiyin FC and emerged as one of the best attacking players in India.

The 25-year-old has made a total of 97 appearances for four different clubs while playing in the Hero ISL. He is the third-highest Indian goalscorer in the league’s history as he has registered 20 goals to his name.

Chhangte expressed his joy at joining the new club, he said, "I am delighted and honored to be a part of Mumbai City. One of the biggest reasons behind joining Mumbai City last season was to be a part of an ambitious club and to play at the highest level possible. I feel privileged that I was able to do just that representing our club at the AFC Champions League and being a part of history.”

The head coach Des Buckingham believes the midfielder could be an influential player in the midfield for the Islanders, he said,” At Mumbai City, we want to play an attacking and exciting style of football and Chhangte is a perfect fit. He is another young player whose ambition matches ours as a club in the upcoming season and near future."

The 24-year-old midfielder played in each of the team's six Group Stage games for Des Buckingham's side during the Club's historic 2022 AFC Champions League campaign.

Kerala Blasters FC signs Sourav Mandal on a three-year deal

Hero Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Kerala Blasters added one more Indian player to their squad as they announced the signing of winger Saurav Mandal from Churchill Brothers. The 21–years-old will stay at the club until 2025.

The winger began his professional career with Rainbow FC. Then, for a brief period, he was a member of the ATK FC Reserves. In 2020, he joined Churchill Brothers. With Churchill Brothers in the I-League this year, the quick and vivacious midfielder displayed a lot of promise.

During his stint at Churchill Brothers, he made 14 appearances for the team. He developed into a crucial member of the club forward line last season, as he contributed with a goal and two assists.

“I would like to congratulate Saurav about this opportunity. A lot of hard work still awaits as he needs to learn and handle new things in ISL. I wish him all the best for the upcoming years in our club,” Karolis Skinkys stated in regards to the Blaster's second summer signing.

Upon joining his new team, Saurav exclaimed with excitement, he said, “I’m very happy to be a part of Kerala Blasters. It’s a dream come true for me that I’ll be representing the biggest club in the country. I’ll be sharing the dressing room with top players from the country and I’m keen to learn from them.” 

After Bryce Miranda, who was announced last week, Mandal becomes KBFC's second summer acquisition. As the Blasters get ready for the upcoming season the 21-years-old winger signing will make their offensive unit even stronger.

Sahil Tavora extends his stay at Hyderabad FC till 2024

Hyderabad FC midfielder Sahil Tavora who helped the club to clinch their first ever Hero ISL trophy in the 2021-22 season has been awarded with one-year contract extension. The midfielder will stay at the club till the 2023-24 season.

Tavora played a crucial role in the club's success last season. He is famous for scoring the equaliser in the 88th minute of the Hero ISL final back in March. The midfielder made 19 appearances for the team and contributed with a goal and an assist.

Speaking after signing his extension, Tavora explained what made this decision pretty easy. “The progress the team as a whole and I as a player have made over the last two years under Coach Manolo Marquez was a major factor in me deciding to extend my contract here,”.

The head coach Manolo Marquez was all smiles after Tavora put pen to paper, he said, “Tavora is a crucial player in our squad. But more importantly, he is a player who every coach wants to train. He is technically good, is very strong in duels, can shoot from distance, and is also a leader in the squad, on and off the pitch,”.

Prior to this extension, Hyderabad FC announced the contract extension of Akash Mishra who was a key member of Hyderabad's historic, title-winning Hero ISL campaign in 2021-22.

Bengaluru FC hands extension to Leon Augustine and Namgyal Bhutia 

Bengaluru FC, on Tuesday, announced that young winger Leon Augustine and wing-back Namgyal Bhutia had signed extensions on their existing contracts that will see them further their stay at the club. While Leon signs on for an additional two seasons, Bhutia’s new deal will see him play for Bengaluru till the end of the 2025-26 season.

Leon, who was selected to join the club through trials in 2016, and was part of Bengaluru FC’s first Residential Academy squad, moved his way up the ranks and made his first-team debut in the 2018 AFC Cup. 

“I’m really happy to sign on with Bengaluru FC because this is a club that gave me an opportunity and helped me develop as a footballer since I was 18 years old. The last season did not go according to plan for me, as I was struggling with injuries, but I am really looking forward to next season and to playing a bigger role for the team,” said Leon, following the completion of formalities on his deal.

On the other hand, Bhutia is a product of the AIFF Academy, joined Bengaluru FC in 2017 and spent his first season on loan with Indian Arrows in the I-League. On his return, the 22-year-old went on to represent the Blues in the I-League 2nd Division and was later selected as part of the club’s first team squad for the 2020 AFC Cup.

“Being a part of the BFC family is a matter of great joy for me, and I am happy with how much I’ve improved as a player during my time here. I am really glad to have signed a new deal with the club, and look forward to contributing more to the first team in the coming seasons,” said Bhutia.

The announcement comes as part of a series of extensions at the club, with the Blues having handed new deals to Naorem Roshan Singh, Parag Shrivas, Lara Sharma, and Wungngayam Muirang in recent weeks.

Clifford Miranda joins Odisha FC

Odisha FC announced the signing of Clifford Miranda as the assistant head coach ahead of the upcoming season. The Kalinga Warriors confirmed the signing via their social media handles on Tuesday.

The Joesp Gomabau deputy has three years of coaching experience, as he coached the FC Goa reserve team and main team between 2018-2021.

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