Indian Super League (ISL) side Mumbai City FC, on Tuesday, announced the signing of Spanish attacking midfielder Jon Toral. Toral has inked a two-year contract and will don the sky-blue jersey until the end of the 2025-26 season.

Toral began his football journey with local club UE Barri Santes Creus in Spain. His talent soon caught the attention of Spanish giants FC Barcelona, leading to his recruitment into their renowned youth academy, La Masia. Over eight years, Toral developed into a versatile midfielder known for his technical skills. He then moved to London to join Arsenal FC, marking the start of a new chapter in his career where he represented the Gunners in the Premier Reserve League, NextGen Series, and the UEFA Youth League.

Toral's professional journey has seen him play for several clubs, including Brentford, Birmingham City, Hull City in England, Granada CF in Spain, Rangers FC in Scotland, and most recently OFI Crete FC in Greece. His versatility and adaptability have been evident throughout, consistently showcasing his technical prowess and football intelligence.

Throughout his career, Toral has played 275 games across various leagues and teams. Known for his silky touches and creative flair, he has registered 35 assists and scored 46 goals. Standing tall at 6 feet, Toral is a constant threat in the penalty box, adept at scoring with both his feet and head.

With his experience and talent, Jon Toral is set to be a valuable addition to the Mumbai City FC squad, aiming to help the team achieve its objectives in the upcoming seasons.

Jon Toral said:

"I am incredibly excited to begin this new chapter of my life in India. Mumbai City FC have a strong track record of winning trophies and are one of the most successful clubs in the country. The club's commitment to their philosophy and values is of the highest order, making it an easy decision for me to join. I can't wait to meet my teammates, coach Petr Kratky, and the passionate fans who make Mumbai City FC a special club."

Petr Kratky – head coach, Mumbai City FC, said:

“We’re happy to have Jon (Toral) join us at Mumbai City FC. He is a very experienced player with the technical abilities and skills that will bolster our midfield for the upcoming season. Toral is a great player and a leader on and off the pitch, and we believe his presence will help the squad achieve the desired objectives. I look forward to having him in our squad next season.”

Kandarp Chandra - CEO, Mumbai City FC, said:

"We are delighted to welcome Jon Toral to the club. Toral embodies our club's values, including dedication, teamwork, and excellence. His experience and skill set will strengthen our midfield and inspire and motivate the entire squad. We are looking forward to having him contribute to our success and help us achieve our goals."

Kerala Blasters FC bolster attacking line with signing of Noah Sadaoui

Kerala Blasters FC completed the signing of forward Noah Sadaoui on a two-year contract, which will run until 2026. Sadaoui brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of goal-scoring prowess to the Blasters, significantly bolstering their attacking options for the upcoming seasons.

Born in Morocco, Sadaoui has had an impressive footballing journey, showcasing his talents across various leagues and continents. His career began in the youth ranks of Wydad Casablanca, before moving to the United States to join the PDA Academy, the youth team of MLS side New York Red Bulls. After a successful stint in the US, contributing significantly to his college’s Championship runs and earning numerous All-MAAC First Team Honours, Sadaoui’s professional career took off with a series of significant moves, starting with Israeli Premier League Club Maccabi Haifa in 2013. His first taste of silverware would come South-African side Ajax Cape Town (now Cape Town Spurs), as he scored three goals in three appearances to help them lift the 2015 MTN 8. Between 2015 and 2017, Noah had stints at Miami United, with whom he won the 2016 National Premier Soccer League, Real CD Espana (Honduras), and Al-Khaburah SC (Oman).

It wasn’t until the 2017-18 season that Sadaoui had his break-through goalscoring season, having scored 16 goals in 20 appearances for Omani side Mirbat SC. Sadaoui continued his form with Enppi SC (Egypt), making 6 goal contributions in 17 appearances, before returning to Morocco with MC Oujda. In his two seasons with Oujda, Sadaoui recorded 12 goals and 6 assists in 43 appearances.

He went on to feature for Raja Casablanca and AS FAR, two of Morocco’s most decorated and successful clubs, before making a move to the ISL with FC Goa in 2022.

The 30-year-old forward has 54 appearances in the ISL, with a mouth-watering tally of 29 goals and 16 assists to his name over the last two seasons. Having contributed to a goal in nearly every game he’s played, Sadaoui has quickly risen to prominence as a star in the league and one of the most exciting players in the ISL.

Sadaoui has four national team appearances since his debut in 2021. Most notably, he started in the semi-finals and the finals of the 2021 African Nations Championship, helping Morocco to the title.

Karolis Skinkys, Sporting Director, said:

‘‘I’m very happy Noah (Sadaoui) joined us to help reach our targets. Obviously, we expect him to be one of the most important players in our team and one of the best players in the league like he was during the last two ISL seasons. I really appreciate his desire to join Kerala Blasters FC and feel that this association can be very successful.’’

On signing with the Blasters, Noah Sadaoui said:

“I am really excited to join Kerala Blasters FC and be part of such a passionate club. The energy and support from the KBFC fans are simply incredible, and I cannot wait to play in front of them. I’m looking forward to contributing to the club’ success and being part of this exciting journey. Together, we can achieve great things and make our mark this season.”

Mohun Bagan SG bring in Scottish defender Tom Aldred

Mohun Bagan Super Giant on Tuesday secured the services of 33-year-old defender Tom Aldred.

The defender joined the Mariners from A-League club Brisbane Roar.

Aldred comes with a vast of experience under his belt and has the experience of playing in several renowned clubs like Motherwell FC, Bury FC, and Blackpool FC.

Jose Molina, head coach, Mohun Bagan SG, said, “Tom Aldred is an experienced player to strengthen our defense. He has a great physique, is forceful, and is very aggressive defensively. Tom is a dominator in aerial balls and also has good technique to the build-up play.”

Tom Aldred said, “I am delighted to be joining Mohun Bagan Super Giant FC. It will be an honour to wear the green and maroon jersey and I am extremely excited to get started.”

“My career has taken me to England, Scotland, Australia and now India. I am looking forward to this next step of my journey in representing this incredible club in the ISL and the Asian Champions League and helping the team thrive and compete on all fronts,” he continued.

“I am well aware of the incredible history of Mohun Bagan and I’ve have watched some of the recent successes from afar. I will give my absolute best every single day to represent Mohun Bagan. I am looking forward to working hard and contributing to further success for the club, the fans, and my teammates,” Aldred remarked.

“I can’t wait to get over to India and Kolkata and meet everyone. See you all very soon,” the defender signed off.

East Bengal FC sign Provat Lakra on a multi-year deal

East Bengal FC on Tuesday announced the arrival of Provat Lakra on a two-year contract that will run until the end of the 2025-26 season. The full-back joins the Red and Gold Brigade from Jamshedpur FC.

Welcoming Lakra to the East Bengal FC, Mr Vibhash Vardhan Agarwal said, “Lakra is a talented full-back with a good amount of ISL experience. He is well aware of the pride, pressure, and honor of representing a big club like East Bengal FC. We are hopeful that his inclusion will solidify our defence.”

East Bengal FC head coach Carles Cuadrat said, “Lakra is an experienced player from Bengal who has made rapid progress during his career. I was thoroughly impressed by his fighting spirit and defensive intensity every time we played against him. From our first conversation, he expressed to me his desire of making an impact in a big club and dedicating the best years of his professional career to a project that would encourage him. I am sure he’ll help us a lot during this challenging season.”

A son of the soil, Provat was part of United Sports Club’s youth system before making his first senior appearance for Southern Samity in 2017. The Kalyani-born defender played the 2017-18 season for Gokulam Kerala FC before making his foray into the ISL and representing NorthEast United FC for the next five seasons. The 26-year-old joined Jamshedpur FC in July last year.

A full-back who can play both left and right, Lakra accumulated 1,283 minutes of playing time across 15 ISL and 3 Kalinga Super Cup matches last season. He played a vital role in helping the Men of Steel reach the Kalinga Super Cup semi-finals. In ISL 2023-24 Lakra registered 30 interceptions, 60 successful duels, 19 successful aerial duels, 3 blocks, 84 recoveries and 26 clearances. He has featured in a total of 51 matches in his ISL career.

Delighted to join East Bengal FC, Lakra said, “East Bengal FC are an institution and the opportunity to represent this iconic club fills me with immense pride. I had good conversations with coach Cuadrat and I can’t wait to play under him. He gives a lot of confidence to his players and brings the best out of them. I am also very excited to play the derby and I will give my best every time I wear the red-and-gold shirt.”

Tondonba Singh extends his stay with NorthEast United FC

NorthEast United FC on Tuesday announced that Tondonba Singh has extended his contract with the club. The 29-year-old left back, from Manipur will remain with the club until 2027. Since joining the club in 2021, he has featured for the club on more than 30 occasions, consistently delivering strong performances and proving himself as an asset to the club.

Head coach Juan Pedro Benali expressed his enthusiasm for the contract extension: “Tondonba (Singh) is one of the most hard-working guys in the club, he is very professional on and off the field. His dedication and commitment make him a great teammate and a leader in our dressing room.”

Tondonba Singh shared his thoughts on extending his stay with NorthEast United FC: “NorthEast United FC is my home. I feel very comfortable at the club, and my decision to extend comes after the club has shown great changes in the past year. I believe we are moving in the right direction, and I am excited to be part of this journey.”

CEO Mandar Tamhane also commented on the contract extension: “As we have said before, we want players to continue with us long-term. Having Tondonba (Singh) with us until 2027 is fantastic because he provides stability to the team. His experience and reliability are crucial as we aim for great things.”