Indian Super League (ISL) side Kerala Blasters FC signed goalkeeper Lara Sharma on a one-year loan deal from Bengaluru FC, on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old is a polished product of Tata Football Academy. He has packs of experience having gone through the footballing ranks of Indian Arrows, ATK (reserves), and Bengaluru FC. A Durand Cup winner, Lara had also represented the national team U18 side.

Commenting on the loan deal, Karolis Skinkys, Kerala Blasters Sporting Director, said:

“Lara is someone who we’ve followed for a long time. For now, we got an opportunity to see him closely for one season and also add depth to our goalkeeping department. I hope this upcoming season plays a substantial part in the growth of Lara Sharma as a player and that his time with us is mutually beneficial to both him and the club.”

A visibly ecstatic Lara Sharma said: “The opportunity to play at KBFC is so special. The fans, the atmosphere, and the energy around the Club is so positive and I can’t wait to be a part of it all. I’m looking forward to making the most of this opportunity and contributing to the club in every way possible.”

Jamshedpur FC adds Croatian sharpshooter Petar Sliskovic to its attack

Jamshedpur FC have completed the signing of Croatian striker Petar Sliskovic on a one-year deal from Chennaiyin FC. Sliskovic joins the Men of Steel following a strong first season in the ISL, scoring 8 goals and bagging 4 assists in just 17 appearances for the club. The Croat is known to be strong in the air and possesses a unique goal-scoring ability along with technical ability and strength.

A proper journeyman, Petar has played at multiple top clubs in the past, featuring several times under current Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel at FSV Mainz in Germany between 2010 and 2015. Following stints at other clubs in Germany and Switzerland, he finally made a permanent move to Chennaiyin FC in 2022, impressing for the Marina Machans in front of goal from the get-go.

“It’s a great feeling to join Jamshedpur FC,” said Petar Sliskovic on becoming a part of the Men of Steel family.

“This is a club that I know well because of my time in India already and having played against them last season I know what a good team this is. I’m excited to work with the Head Coach and the staff and help the team once again achieve major glory. The fans in Jamshedpur are known to be some of the loudest and most passionate and I cannot wait to finally play in front of them at the Furnace.”

Over and above his exploits at club level, Sliskovic has also made multiple appearances for the Croatian U21 side in his early days. The 6 foot 4 inch striker has played six times for his country at the youth level, and featured alongside several recognisable names such as Ivan Perisic, Dejan Lovren, Mateo Kovacic and Ivan Rakitic.

“Petar has already got league experience and that’s always very encouraging because it can be very difficult for strikers to settle into a new league,” said Jamshedpur FC Head Coach, Scott Cooper.

“He has done very well last season and got a good tally of goals to his name and is an accomplished striker with experience from Croatia and Germany and I think he will fit into our model of play really well. If he is given chances, he will score goals.”

The club can also confirm that Sliskovic will don the number nine shirt in the upcoming campaign.

NorthEast United FC sign talented youngster Thoi Singh

NorthEast United FC, on Tuesday, announced the signing of promising youngster Huidrom Thoi Singh.

The Manipur-born midfielder adds to the growing pool of talented prospects from the region to sign for the Highlanders ahead of the 2023-24 season. Thoi began his professional football journey at a very young age and was nurtured at the Reliance Foundation Young Champs Academy.

Owing to his hard work and dedication, the aspiring playmaker caught the eye of Bengaluru FC in 2021, where he continued to refine his skills to become a versatile winger and a midfielder. Most recently, Thoi was awarded the Golden Ball, the trophy given to the player of the tournament at the Reliance Foundation Development League 2023.

Expressing his joy at joining NorthEast United FC, Thoi said, “I chose NEUFC because it feels like home. It provides the perfect platform for me to show my abilities and grow as a player. This is a big step in my career, and I am determined to work hard to fulfil the challenges in front of me.”

The 19-year-old will find some familiar faces in his new team, as former teammates Shighil Nambrath and Fredy Chawngthansanga too recently swapped their blue kits of Bengaluru FC for the Red & White of the Highlanders.

NorthEast United FC Assistant Coach Naushad Moosa weighed in on the signing of Thoi, saying, "Thoi played a key part in both the seasons of the Reliance Foundation Development League, which Bengaluru FC won twice. He was also the best player in the most recent edition. He is an exceptional player, he is fast, technically good, and can play on both wings. He’ll be an invaluable addition to our squad."

Also extending a warm welcome to Thoi was club CEO Mandar Tamhane, who expressed his confidence in the youngster’s potential. He stated, “We are absolutely thrilled to have such a talented youngster in our ranks. With our strong vision and nurturing environment, I am confident that Thoi will flourish and grow with the club, reaching new heights.”

Chennaiyin FC release defender Gurmukh Singh

Chennaiyin FC, on Tuesday, said that they have parted company with defender Gurmukh Singh.

The Jalandhar-born footballer joined Chennaiyin FC ahead of the 2022-23 season after an impressive stint with I-League outfit Rajasthan United FC. He was a key player for the side as they won the second division of the I-League back in 2021.

He featured in 10 matches for Chennaiyin FC during the ISL 2022-23 season, clocking 470 minutes on the pitch.