ISL 2017: Bengaluru FC confirm Gurpreet Singh Sandhu signing
Bengaluru FC have finally announced the big capture of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu on a one-year deal for the 2017-18 Indian Super League season.
The India international had been with Norwegian Tippeligaen outfit Stabaek before he left the club yesterday. His imminent ISL arrival was met with widespread approval across India and the 25-year-old has now joined two-time I-League champions and new ISL entrant Bengaluru FC.
Gurpreet, who joined Stabaek in 2014, spent three years in Norway but never threatened to seal a permanent starting eleven spot at the club. Stabaek manager Toni Ordinas had promoted him to be the number one 'keeper at Stabaek but a series of poor performances meant that Gurpreet was again relegated to the bench.
That said, the ISL brings about a new opportunity for the man from Chandigarh who started his senior career at Kolkata giants East Bengal. According to reports, Bengaluru FC have paid an undisclosed for the man who has also captained the Indian national team in the past.
The player posted on Twitter after putting pen to paper: "I'm Blue"
Upon signing on the dotted lines, the 6ft 4in stopper expressed his delight, saying: "I’m extremely delighted to have signed for Bengaluru FC. While the experience of playing in Europe was fantastic, lack of game time was an important factor in making the decision of moving back to India. I had an offer from another top-flight club in Europe, but the need to play regularly ahead of the AFC Asian Cup in 2019 was something that was on my mind."
Gurpreet is set to earn significantly higher wages than what he received at Stabaek. It is believed that he is the most expensive goalkeeper in the history of the ISL, trumping former Bengaluru FC custodian Amrinder Singh, who will command a salary of ?1.2 crores at Mumbai City FC next season.
Bengaluru had not signed a big goalkeeper in the ISL domestic draft last month, keeping their door open for the possibility of a move for Gurpreet. The club have now roped in one of the most celebrated Indian footballers and will look to repeat their I-League trick when they play the ISL for the first time next season.
The Blues won the I-League title in the first year of the club's formation, therefore another title tilt, albeit in another league, at the first time of asking is their target for the 2017-18 campaign. Gurpreet will immediately link up with his new teammates, who are preparing for the club's crucial AFC Cup clash against April 25 Sports Club this month.