Two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champions Chennaiyin FC have confirmed that their midfielder Gregory Nelson has parted ways with the club. Similarly, Imphal-based NEROCA FC confirmed the exit of defenders Eduardo Ferreira and Kallon Varney and striker Felix Chidi.
Nelson, 31, has been part of the Chennaiyin FC setup for the last two years and even lifted the ISL trophy with them last season. Nelson joined Chennaiyin from Bahraini club Al Muharraq. The Dutchman has represented Netherlands in the U-17, U-18 and U-19 levels.
Nelson had his contract running until the end of May but he's not part of Chennaiyin FC's AFC Cup squad. He had a memorable first season with Chennaiyin but the club finished bottom of the table this ISL. Chennaiyin, however, salvaged their season by reaching the final of the Super Cup, losing out on the title to FC Goa.
This season, Nelson scored 2 goals in 834 minutes of football in the ISL, making 14 appearances. He was mainly used as an impact substitute and in the 2017-18 season, he provided 5 assists and scored one goal, clocking 1389 minutes in 19 appearances.
Eduardo, on the other hand, is a Brazil-born defender who represents Equatorial Guinea in internationals. The central defender, 35, signed his first contract with an Indian club with FC Pune City in 2016. He then moved on to play for both the Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan (2016-17) and East Bengal (2017-18), before moving to NEROCA at the start of the 2018-19 season.
NEROCA, who finished sixth this season with 26 points in 20 games, showed the door to another defender and striker. They decided not to extend the contract of Felix Chidi, their main striker since the 2016 season. In 34 matches for NEROCA, the Nigerian found the back of the net on 24 occasions, helping them finish second in 2017-18, their first season on top flight.
Kallon too has been part of the NEROCA setup from 2016, joining from Goan club Vasco. He has one international cap for Liberia, playing against Sierra Leone in 2017.
NEROCA are reconsidering their options for the future given the league shake-up that's expected to happen before the start of the next season, where the ISL could be given the top division status over the I-League.
Having qualified from the Second Division, NEROCA are unhappy with the rejig and even pulled out of the Super Cup. Before this, NEROCA's most prized asset, Katsumi Yusa, joined Chennai City FC. The club also bid farewell to Chencho Gyeltshen, signed on loan from Bengaluru FC, and Australian Aryn Williams.