FC Goa have completed the signing of Indian international winger Udanta Singh on a multi-year deal, the club announced on Wednesday. A proven performer in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL), Udanta’s arrival will bolster the Gaurs who also acquired the signature of fellow Indian national team star Rowllin Borges.

"I’m extremely excited and honored to become a part of FC Goa. I have always admired the way Goa plays. It always took that bit extra to get over the line whenever we were playing Goa,” Udanta said, after signing on the dotted line for the Gaurs.

"There has been some mutual interest between us for over a year now to work together, and I am very happy that the deal has finally gone through. I believe I have a lot to give, and my dreams are to win many more trophies. I hope that starts here,” he added. 

A graduate of the prestigious Tata Football Academy, Udanta Singh spent the entirety of his senior football career with Bengaluru FC (BFC), initially in the Hero I-League and later in the Hero ISL.

He has made over 200 appearances for the Blues, across competitions, winning each of the competitions he played in at least once. The 27-year-old has also made 26 appearances in the AFC Cup.

With 22 goals and 22 assists to his name at BFC, the winger will add firepower to the FC Goa attack under Manolo Marquez.

On the international scene, Udanta made his national debut in 2016, and has been a vital part of the national team ever since — earning 36 caps. 

Nishu Kumar joins East Bengal FC

East Bengal FC have assigned Nishu Kumar on a one-year loan deal from Kerala Blasters FC, the club announced on Wednesday.

In the 2022-23 edition of the Hero ISL, Nishu made 17 appearances and registered one assist, 12 interceptions, 22 clearances and 15 successful tackles. Besides, he also played every minute of KBFC’s Hero Super Cup 2023 campaign.

The 25-year-old won the Hero ISL title with Bengaluru FC (BFC) in the 2018-19 season under current East Bengal FC Head Coach Carles Cuadrat. He was also part of the KBFC squad that finished runners-up in the 2021-22 Hero ISL. An ambipedal full-back, Nishu has the rare ability to operate on both sides of the pitch and will add great flexibility to the team.

“It’s a matter of great pride for me to join an iconic institution like East Bengal. This club has a huge fan base, which is always a great motivation for a player to give his best,” Nishu said after joining the club.

“I am also thrilled to reunite with Coach Carles, who groomed me in my formative years at BFC. We will be playing a lot of matches in the upcoming season and I will give my best in every match and try to bring joy to our fans that they truly deserve,” he added.

Born in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar, Nishu Kumar learnt the rudiments of the game at the Chandigarh Football Academy before graduating from the AIFF Elite Academy. He then joined Bengaluru FC where he matured into a senior professional and has been one of the top full-backs in the Hero ISL since.

Overall, in his 82 Hero ISL matches so far, Nishu has racked up three goals, two assists, 82 interceptions and 189 clearances. 

Nishu is East Bengal FC’s third signing of the summer after announcing the arrival of Nandhakumar Sekar from Odisha FC and Borja Herrera from Hyderabad FC. 

The Red and Golds have also bid goodbye to eleven players as Cuadrat leads the revamp of the squad. Here are the eleven players that have left the club: Amarjit Singh Kiyam (End of Loan), Himanshu Jangra (End of Loan), Naveen Kumar (End of Loan), Suvam Sen (End of Contract), Sumeet Passi (End of Contract), Jerry Lalrinzuala (End of Contract), Semboi Haokip (End of Contract), Charalambos Kyriakou (End of Contract), Jake Jervis (End of Contract), Alex Lima (End of Contract), Jordan O'Doherty (End of Contract). 

Bengaluru FC bolster attack by signing Narzary on a three-year deal 

Bengaluru FC, on Wednesday, announced that winger Halicharan Narzary had signed a three-year deal with the Blues. Narzary, who joined Hyderabad FC in 2020, has previously turned out for FC Goa, NorthEast United FC, Kerala Blasters and Chennaiyin FC in the Hero ISL.

“I’m excited to join Bengaluru FC, although I am sure that it will be a lot of hard work for me to take my place in the team. My target is to reach as many finals as possible and give everything I can for this badge. I have decided to move to BFC as it’s one of the best clubs in India, in my opinion, and I want to learn as much as I can from this experience,” said Narzary, after completing the formalities on his deal.

Having started his career as a teenager at Pailan Arrows in 2010, Narzary has also turned out for I-League clubs DSK Shivajians and Dempo SC. The 29-year-old represented India at the U19 and U23 levels, and has 27 caps for the Senior National Team.

“Halicharan is a hardworking and versatile player with a lot of experience in the Hero ISL and we’re delighted to be able to sign him. He’s been a very important player in a successful period at Hyderabad FC over the last few years and adds competition for places within our team. With the amount of quality that he brings into our squad, we see him as a valuable addition,” said Blues’ boss Simon Grayson.

Narzary has 103 Hero ISL appearances across nine seasons, and claimed six assists in his most recent campaign, the second highest of any Indian. The winger was part of Hyderabad FC’s title-winning 2021-22 campaign, and was runner up in the Hero Super Cup with Chennaiyin FC in 2019.

“We’re really glad to be able to bring on board a player of Halicharan’s qualities, because we believe he can add a lot of impetus to our attack. He is someone who can play in several positions, has many years of experience at the top level, and gives us options as we look to build on a strong campaign. I’m wishing him the best as he begins his new chapter with us,” said Blues’ Director of Football, Darren Caldeira.

Narzary’s signature represents the first of Bengaluru FC’s incomings ahead of the new season, with the club having extended the contracts of Aussie defender Aleksandar Jovanovic and midfielder Suresh Wangjam.