ISL roundup: Star forward announces Kerala Blasters return, Dynamos chase Champions League winner
A quick roundup of the latest gossip surrounding the Indian Super League.
One of the stars of Kerala Blasters over the past three Indian Super League (ISL) seasons has been their quick forward, Antonio German. The English striker with Caribbean roots announced yesterday that he will be back in time for the start of the 2017/18 ISL season.
The 25-year-old took to Twitter to signal his intent to come back to India and set the Kerala Blasters fans in a frenzy.
German played a prominent role in ISL 2015, scoring six goals. However, Kerala Blasters finished rock bottom that season and German wasn't as influential in the following campaign, failing to net even once.
Although all things point to German returning to Kerala Blasters next season, it is yet unconfirmed whether he will link up with his old club or join a new franchise. That being said, the Kerala Blasters faithful will remain fairly confident of the player joining their club, given his connection with the Kochi-based outfit.
CK Vineeth confirms Bengaluru departure with emotional message
One of the most popular Indian footballers around, CK Vineeth has confirmed his departure from Bengaluru FC. The forward has been snapped up by Kerala Blasters for next season's ISL, and hence his time with the Blues has come to an end.
Vineeth took to Twitter to pen a tear-inducing goodbye to end of his three-and-a-half year association with Bengaluru.
The India international, who scored the winning goals for Bengaluru in the Federation Cup final earlier this year, was on loan at Kerala Blasters for the past two ISL campaigns. He was the top scoring Indian in ISL-3 and also played a key role in Bengaluru's run to the final of the AFC Cup last year.
With Bengaluru opting to retain Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh among their domestic players, Vineeth was expected to join Kerala Blasters permanently this year, and that has been all but confirmed.
Goran Pandev on Delhi Dynamos’ radar
The five-time Macedonian Footballer of the Year and Champions League winner with Inter Milan, Goran Pandev, is interesting ISL clubs. The forward, who is currently a free agent after his contract at Genoa ended last month, has been approached by various Italian clubs and Indian franchises have also sounded him out.
According to sources close to the player, Pandev is keeping himself in top shape during the close season and his professionalism, both on and off the pitch, will be an attractive prospect for any club, not least an ISL club.
It is believed that Delhi Dynamos are interested in signing Pandev for ISL-4, with Florent Malouda's return to the Lions’ fold not yet confirmed. Should the Macedonian come down to India, his vision and eye for goal will be valuable assets to any team he turns out for.