ISL 2018-19: Bengaluru FC zero in on Dani Aquino as replacement for Chencho Gyeltshen
Aquino, who plays for Murcia (also called Real Murcia) in the Segunda Division B (third division) of Spain, could be signed as a replacement for Bhutanese forward Chencho Gyeltshen.
Chencho was released by Bengaluru FC as the ISL table-toppers wanted a striker who can act as a No 9 as well as a winger. Ever since Miku suffered an injury after the game against Kerala Blasters in November, BFC coach Carles Cuadrat has had to tinker with his tactics to get BFC through.
This saw him deploy Chencho and Semboi Haokip as the No 9 in Miku's position with Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh on the wings. Since Chencho and Semboi weren't natural centre-forwards, the players struggled and this also saw a dip in BFC's scoring prowess.
Aquino, 28, can fill that void. He can play as a winger or as a traditional centre-forward. He has experience of playing for a lot of clubs in Spain.
Starting his career with Murcia B, he progressed to the main squad and then went on to represent Oviedo. From 2013-2015, he was with Atletico Madrid Reserves and went on to represent the main squad once. Aquino provided the assist for a Diego Costa goal against Real Zaragoza on June 1, 2013, seconds after coming on in their 3-1 win.
Numancia acquired Aquino in 2015 but he had a mixed stint there, scoring just once in 28 appearances.
It was in Racing Santander between 2016-18 that Aquino reached his prime, making 77 appearances and finding the back of the net on 39 occasions.
At the start of this season, he signed with Murcia in the Segunda B Division and he has scored eight times in 18 appearances for the club already.
According to reports in Spain, Aquino has requested the club to let him sign with an Indian club on a free transfer.
Aquino fell out with the club's advisor and sporting director and was looking for a move out of Murcia.
Apart from being the second highest goalscorer in Group D of the Segunda Division B, Aquino finished as Spain's top-scorer in the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup. He finished behind Bojan Krkic in the Golden Boot race by two goals.
BFC, who were runners-up last year, are placed at the top of the ISL table with 27 points in 11 games. They are unbeaten in the league and lead second-placed Mumbai City FC by three points with a game in hand.