ISL 2018-19 transfer news: Sandesh Jhingan to stay in Kerala Blasters
Indian defender Sandesh Jhingan, who was linked with a move to ATK, will stay in Kerala Blasters for the remainder of the season, according to sources.
Jhingan has been on ATK's radar for over a year now and even snubbed them at the start of the season to remain in Kochi. Even a Qatari club Al Gharafa SC was interested in roping in Jhingan after seeing his terrific performance for India at the Asian Cup 2019.
However, as things stand, Jhingan will not move to either Qatar or ATK.
For Jhingan to move to Kolkata, ATK had to pay a transfer fee to Kerala Blasters. The Kolkata outfit may wait until the end of the season to sign Jhingan if they still want to, instead of paying a fee right now.
ATK did rope in Pritam Kotal from Delhi Dynamos through a club transfer. The fee involved for the transfer was reported to be around Rs 20 lakh.
Having already splurged on Kotal and Edu Garcia - another transfer from Zhejiang Greentown FC, it was unlikely that ATK would agree to another player involving a transfer fee.
ATK were hoping to bring Jhingan on loan until the end of the season and then sign him on a permanent deal after the expiry of his contract with Blasters.
It now appears that Blasters were keen on retaining the services of the defender, who is one of India's best players currently.
Blasters' new coach Nelo Vingada made it clear that he would like for Jhingan to remain at Kochi. Other sources close to the development also confirmed that Jhingan will stay.
It bodes well for Blasters that they will enjoy the services of Jhingan until the end of the season. They are, after all, eighth on the ISL table with just one win and nine points in 12 games.
Moreover, Blasters are said to have let CK Vineeth and Halicharan Narzary move to Chennaiyin FC on loan deals. They have only brought in youngsters like Baoringdao Bodo and Nongdamba Naorem, looking to give them some match experience having already fallen out of the contention for a spot in the ISL playoffs.
That apart, Kerala Blasters will lose Zakeer Mundampara for the rest of the season owing to a suspension and it was important for them to keep Jhingan in the team.