According to reports in Bangladeshi media, two-time ISL champions Chennaiyin FC are on the verge of signing Afghanistan defender Masih Saighani. The report further adds that the Marina Machans will kickstart their pre-season on August 15 under the tutelage of their head coach John Gregory.
Masih Saighani played for Abahani Limited Dhaka in the Bangladesh Premier League and AFC Cup last season, where his extra-time header in the last group stage match against Minerva Punjab ended Chennaiyin's chances of progressing through to the knockout stages of the tournament. The 32-year-old performed brilliantly against the ISL side in the competition and rumours began to surface that he would be joining them next season.
Dhaka Abahani registered their list of foreigners for their home and away tie in the AFC Cup against North Korea's April 25 S.C. on Tuesday and it didn't include Saighani and Kervens Belfort's name. While the latter was injured, the former's omission confirms his arrival to Chennai.
The report further adds that the Afghanistan international is currently in Dhaka and will reach India to begin pre-season training with Chennaiyin from 15th August. Having previously represented Aizawl FC in the 2017-18 I-League season, this will be Saighani's second stint in Indian club football.
The 32-year-old spent the first thirteen years of his footballing career in lower divisions of Germany before coming to India. Saighani has a knack of scoring goals from headers, testified by the three goals he scored in the AFC Cup despite being a defender.
In the previous ISL season, Chennaiyin finished on the bottom of the table and conceded 32 goals in 18 matches. They picked up only two victories and became the first side in history to finish the tournament in single digits.Published 07 Aug 2019, 19:49 IST