FC Goa have announced the signing of Spanish midfielder Manuel Arana Rodriguez for the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) season. With his transfer, the Gaurs have completed their second foreign signing after the acquisition of Bruno Pinheiro last month.
Rodriguez has played more than 200 games in the top two divisions of Spanish football and arrives from Australian club Brisbane Roar on a free transfer. He becomes the fourth confirmed senior signing for new head coach Sergio Lobera after Pinheiro, Laxmikant Kattimani and Mandar Rao Dessai.
FC Goa have set about starting from scratch this season after Zico's departure from the club at the end of ISL-3. The Gaurs have finished runners-up once, in 2015, but their wretched campaign last term where they finished rock bottom prompted a change in the team's personnel.
Rodriguez has played his club football for an assortment of Spanish clubs like Real Betis, Recreativo Huelva, Real Mallorca and CD Castellon. The 32-year-old will add experience and quality to the FC Goa midfield next season.
34 Indian players complete medicals ahead of player draft
34 Indian players, including the likes of Arata Izumi, Rino Anto, Gouramangi Singh, Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Mohammed Rafi, completed their medicals ahead of the domestic player draft scheduled for the last week of this month.
The players who will head into the draft are the ones who were not retained by any of the 10 franchises before the deadline day of 7th July.
Out of those 34 players, 23 are from Goa and the medicals were done in the coastal state itself. A minimum of 175 players will be part of the ISL domestic draft this time round, a steep increase from the 84 in season one.
All the ten clubs will have to pick up Indian players from the draft itself. There will be no provision for the franchises to pick players outside the draft window, a measure which is taken so that all the ten clubs are on the same page ahead of the new-look ISL next season.
The domestic player draft is tentatively scheduled for 23rd July, and most of the clubs' composition and spine will be known following the process. Tata Steel's new team will be the first to pick players in the draw, followed by Delhi Dynamos.