Indian Football Transfers: Chennaiyin FC rope Lucian Goian from Mumbai City FC
Former two-time ISL champions - Chennaiyin FC - have successfully signed Mumbai City FC defender Lucian Goian, Sportskeeda can confirm. The Romanian will become the second foreigner to don the Marina Machans' jersey in the 2019-20 season after the club signed Lithuanian forward Nerijus Valskis.
Lucian Goian had a stellar 2018-19 ISL season with Mumbai City FC as he marshaled the defense line and guided the club in keeping eight clean sheets in the tournament, the most by any team. Lunging 82 tackles, 33 interceptions, 187 clearances, and 34 blocks in 19 matches, Goian was one of the best defenders in the ISL last season and these statistics are a testament of it.
A Mumbai City FC fan favorite, many expected the Islanders to retain Goian. The 36-year-old received lucrative proposals from ATK and FC Goa but brushed off those offers in order to continue his stay with Mumbai City FC.
However, his parent club refused to even initiate a deal with him or begin negotiations. ATK, meanwhile, signed Carl McHugh from Motherwell and FC Goa sealed Carlos Pena's services for one more year.
The foreign center-back slot which gets occupied quickly in the Indian football transfer window was running out as almost every club, which could meet his wage bill, filled those positions. But, once Chennaiyin FC learned of his availability, they wasted little time to secure his services.
Mumbai City FC parting ways with Lucian Goian is a massive let-down for their fans as he was the first and only player to represent them 50 times in ISL. But, what is their loss is Chennaiyin FC's gain.
Having first forayed in India in 2016, this will be Goian's fourth season in India and first with the Marina Machans. Chennaiyin FC had a disastrous 2018-19 season, with the club finishing at the bottom of the pile in ISL and failing to even reach the knockout stages of the AFC Cup.
Their only saving grace was reaching the finals of the Super Cup, where FC Goa pipped them 2-1. John Gregory would give his best to get Chennaiyin FC back on track and Goian's experience would aid him in the defense.