Indian Super League (ISL) Cup winners Mumbai City FC announced the signing of Indian international Brandon Fernandes, the club announced through their social media handle on Saturday.

The creative midfielder, who will don the number 10 jersey, joins the defending ISL Cup winners on a three-year contract, with a trigger to extend by a further season.

The 29-year-old, who made his professional debut over a decade ago, and had a brief stint with the Islanders in 2015, boasts an impressive track record. He has previously won the ISL League Winners’ Shield (2019-20), the Super Cup (2019), and the Durand Cup (2021) with FC Goa. Throughout his career, he has made 163 appearances across Indian domestic tournaments and the AFC Champions League, scoring 25 goals and providing 31 assists.

Last season, Brandon scored 3 goals and made 4 assists, one goal coming against Mumbai City FC in the ISL semi-final. Notably, he created the most chances (60) in the ISL last season. In National team colours, he has played 25 games, contributing 7 assists.

The ace midfielder will bring flair and creativity to Mumbai City FC, further bolstering the attack as the Islanders pursue more glory in the upcoming season.

With his proven track record and dynamic playmaking abilities, Brandon Fernandes is set to be a key player for the Islanders.

Brandon Fernandes said:

"I am delighted to return to Mumbai City FC. It is one of the top clubs in Indian football, and it represents a new and exciting challenge for me in my career. The team has been performing brilliantly over the last few years, and I am thrilled to join such a talented squad. I am eager to contribute by scoring goals and assisting my teammates in the upcoming season as we strive to secure more silverware.”

“Moreover, I have had extensive discussions with coach Petr Kratky, and his vision and plans for the team demonstrate a lot of ambition. His confidence in my abilities is incredibly motivating, and I am determined to repay his faith through my performances on the pitch. I am looking forward to working under his guidance and making a significant impact for Mumbai City FC."

Petr Kratky – Head Coach, Mumbai City FC said:

"Brandon is a dynamic midfielder whose performances last season truly stood out. His technical skills, vision, and relentless dedication on the field will undoubtedly add a new dimension to our squad and elevate our overall set-up. I am eagerly anticipating his arrival and the success he will bring to the team. As an attacking and creative player, Brandon perfectly embodies our football philosophy of dynamic and forward-thinking play.”

“His ability to read the game, create opportunities, and drive the team forward aligns seamlessly with our strategic goals. We are confident that he will become an integral part of our squad, and we look forward to seeing him flourish with us."

Kandarp Chandra – CEO, Mumbai City FC said:

“Brandon Fernandes has been one of the brightest footballers in India over the last few years, and I am delighted to welcome him back to Mumbai City FC. His energy and skill on the pitch are exactly what our team needs, and we are eager to witness the incredible moments he will create for our club. I have no doubt that Brandon will quickly become a fan favourite, captivating our supporters with his dynamic play. We are very excited about this signing and the impact Brandon will have on our success.”

Marko Leskovic and Daisuke Sakai bid farewell to Kerala Blasters FC

Indian Super League (ISL) side Kerala Blasters FC announced the departure of their two foreign players, Marko Leskovic and Daisuke Sakai.

Croatian centre-back Leskovic joined the Blasters during the 2021-22 season from GNK Dinamo Zagreb. He made an indelible mark at the club, leaving after three successful seasons. He was a mainstay in the central defensive position for Ivan Vukomanovic’s side.

However, the defender struggled with injuries in the last two seasons, making 15 and 12 appearances in the league, respectively. During his three-year tenure, he featured in 53 matches for the Blasters across all competitions. His only goal came against Bengaluru FC in their 3-2 win in the ISL during the 2022-23 season.

Japanese attacker Sakai joined the Blasters ahead of this season from the Thailand-based club Customs United. The 27-year-old played a significant role for the side in the absence of Adrian Luna. Clocking 1,414 minutes across 21 league appearances, Sakai made a major contribution to the team.

He scored three goals and provided one assist, helping his side reach the playoffs for a third consecutive year. Additionally, he created 18 chances and maintained a passing accuracy of 79%.

Michael Soosairaj and Cy Goddard are among six players to depart Odisha FC

Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Odisha FC on Saturday announced the departure of six players. The list includes five Indian players and one foreigner: Lalthuammawia Ralte, Pranjal Bhumij, Aniket Jadhav, Michael Soosairaj, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, and Cy Goddard.

Goalkeeper Ralte and midfielder Soosairaj joined the Kalinga Warriors ahead of the 2022-23 season. The former mostly played as the second-choice keeper to Amrinder Singh, while the latter spent most of his time on the sidelines due to severe injuries.

Soosairaj could only make seven appearances in all competitions during his time with Odisha FC. Ralte made ten appearances over two seasons, with five coming in the Kalinga Super Cup 2024, where he led his side to the final. Notably, he kept six clean sheets in those ten matches.

Jadhav joined during the winter transfer window last season from East Bengal FC. He went on to make 35 appearances, mostly as a substitute, and scored one goal for Odisha FC in their AFC Cup return leg tie against Mohun Bagan Super Giant.

Japanese midfielder Cy Goddard reunited with Lobera at Odisha FC ahead of the season. He played a key role for the side in the AFC Cup and Kalinga Super Cup. In his 26 appearances with the club, he netted one goal and provided two assists.

Forward Bhumij joined Odisha FC from Mumbai City FC ahead of the season. He made ten appearances across all competitions for Sergio Lobera’s side.

Dakshinamurthy joined the Kalinga Warriors on loan from Hyderabad FC in the January transfer window this season. The left-back featured in 17 matches across all competitions, mostly coming on as a substitute.