ISL 2017/18: Kerala Blasters star CK Vineeth in close talks with Jamshedpur FC
ISL debutants Jamshedpur FC are said to be in talks with Kerala Blasters' winger CK Vineeth, in an attempt to sign the Keralite for the upcoming season.
If the deal does fall through, Vineeth will be reunited with former Kerala manager Steve Coppell, who had guided the Kochi-based club to the ISL final in 2016. Additionally, he would also be reunited with a number of former Kerala Blasters stars like Kervens Belfort, Izu Azuka, and Mehtab Hossain.
As Vineeth is contracted to Kerala Blasters until the end of next season, is likely to be bought by Jamshedpur, who is said to be in talks with the winger. However, it would essentially be a pre-dated deal, which means that Vineeth would only be able to make the move once this season gets over.
Jamshedpur FC, playing their first ever season of the Indian Super League, finished their debut season with a mixed bag of success, winning seven games and ending up on the losing side six times out of the eighteen league stages matches.
Right through the season, the club, playing under the tutelage of head coach Steve Coppell depended on their defensive unit and with the strikers unable to make a massive impact, Jamshedpur FC could look to beef up their attack with Vineeth's addition.
The talented 29-year old already has acres of experience under his belt having plied his trade in the I-League ahead of playing in the Indian Super League and a source close to CK Vineeth confirmed that Jamshedpur FC is on the lookout to sign the big match player.
Having made his debut for United S.C as part of the I-League in 2012, Vineeth made a huge impact in his first season itself, scoring the most goals by an Indian player in that season.
At the back of his impressive performances, he was snapped up by Bengaluru FC for the 2014-15 season of the I-League and at the end of the season, he extended his contract for two more seasons but was also drafted in the Kerala Blasters squad for the 2015 ISL season.
In his first appearance for the Blasters, Vineeth netted the winning goal and his consistency throughout the season ensured that he finished with the highest number of goals for an Indian player from that season.
Retained ahead of the 2017-18 season by the Blasters, Vineeth did not have the best of runs, scoring only 4 goals in 14 matches as his team finished sixth on the table, failing to qualify for the semi-finals.
With one eye out for the ISL season next year, Jamshedpur could do well to sign the talismanic Vineeth to add more teeth in their attack and also some much-needed experience as part of their squad.