Mohammedan Sporting have signed India international Nirmal Chettri on loan from IMG-Reliance for the rest of this season, Sportskeeda can confirm.
Nirmal becomes the sixth player to join Mohammedan Sporting on loan from IMG-R after Ishfaq Ahmed, Syed Rahim Nabi, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Manish Maithani and Luis Barreto.
With the AIFF now allowing clubs to register up to 35 players, Mohammedan Sporting have significantly strengthened their squad by loaning some of the best Indian players from the federation’s commercial and marketing partners.
It was learnt that Nirmal had offers from Goa, Mumbai and Shillong but the 23-year-old wanted to stay in Kolkata having played there for the last five years and thus accepted the offer from Mohammedan Sporting.
The Sikkimese defender first played in the Indian top flight for Air India before joining East Bengal in 2008 and spent four successful seasons there. Last season he was at Mohun Bagan but then earlier this summer he was signed by IMG-R for their proposed Indian Super League.
Nirmal recently had a one-week trial at German second tier outfit Fortuna Dusseldorf along with Dempo midfielder Godwin Franco and is now set to play in the I-League to boost his chances of returning to the Indian national team after being excluded for the international friendlies in Siliguri as he didn’t have an I-League club.
Following this move, Nirmal joins a rare group of players who have played for all the three giants of Kolkata – East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting.
IMG-Reliance have now loaned 15 of their contracted players to I-League clubs with six joining Mohammedan Sporting, five of them at Rangdajied United and Mumbai FC have signed four. This comes after a meeting of the IPFCA (Indian Professional Football Clubs Association) last month in Kolkata where it was decided that no club would be signing IMG-R contracted players.