ISL 2018-19: Ex-Kerala Blasters FC star Josu looking for January return
Josue Prieto Currais, better known as Josu, will return to the Indian Super League (ISL) once January's winter transfer window opens.
The former Kerala Blasters FC player, who was contracted with FC Cincinnati in the United Soccer League, reached the final of the ISL 2016-17 season. He remains a fan favourite to this day.
Josu has signed with renowed Indian agent Baljit Rihal's Inventive Sports on Saturday. However, it's still unsure whether Josu will return to Kerala Blasters FC in January.
For one, Blasters already have filled their foreign-player quota of seven players for this season. Unless any of the seven foreigners leave the club when the winter window opens, Josu, 25, will be unable to join the Kochi-based club.
Secondly, Blasters have almost filled up their salary cap of Rs 17.5 crore and Josu's wages, which will be above Rs 1 crore easily, will see their bills go above the limit.
"Vamos! Delighted to have @CurraisJosu join us at @InventiveSports .. The Spaniard spent two seasons at the Kerala Blasters and still remains a fan favourite.. Looking forward to working with him in #India.." Inventive Sports tweeted on Saturday.
The agency's CEO, Rihal, added: "Good to have Josu with us at @InventiveSports .. Hoping to bring him back to #India very soon."
Rihal's company represents top foreign players in the ISL like Iain Hume, Andre Bikey and Trindade Goncalves.
"Josu hasn't started negotiating with any clubs yet," said a source close to the development. "Since all the clubs have filled their foreigners' quota, he needs to be sure about one person leaving in January and then possibly try to move to that club.
"So right now, it's too early to speculate where he could move.
"He has played for Blasters before and the fans love him but the club has to shell out a lot of money as salary for Josu."
Josu spent two seasons at Kerala Blasters from 2015-17. He is a product of the Barcelona's 'La Masia' academy and played under current ATK coach Steve Coppell, who transformed him from a midfielder to a defender.
Josu made 25 appearances for Blasters and notched up one goal in the 2015-16 season against NorthEast United. He is remembered most for converting a penalty in the shootout win against Delhi Dynamos during the 2016-17 ISL semifinals.