Star Indian defender Raju Gaikwad, currently plying his trade for Jamshedpur FC, could be seen donning a different jersey next Indian Super League (ISL) season, sources say.
Gaikwad has sparked interest from a couple of Indian clubs with the offers from Mumbai City FC and East Bengal turning out to be the most appealing ones as of now.
Gaikwad, 28, was part of Mumbai City in the inaugural 2014 ISL season and also played for the Islanders in the 2017-18 season. A move to Mumbai would mean a return to his hometown club for Gaikwad.
Kolkata also seems like a likely destination for Gaikwad, who was contracted to East Bengal from 2011 to 2015. East Bengal, who are looking to make some key signings in a bid to participate in the ISL, have expressed their interest in signing the Mumbaikar.
Gaikwad could only make 5 appearances for Jamshedpur this season, getting about 382 minutes of game time overall, a far cry from the 15 appearances he made for Mumbai City in the 2017-18 season.
Gaikwad can play any position in the back four and has a tough personality that attackers will find hard to pass. This trait, and his ability to fling the ball deep into the box, makes him a wonderful addition to any squad with the defender looking for an elusive ISL title.
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Hailing from a family of sportsmen, Gaikwad took to football at a young age, deployed as a ball boy during a few local games in Mumbai. His father, Maruti Eknath Gaikwad, was a boxer who won the Chatrapati award in 1976. His mother, Malti, was an athlete too.
Having been part of FC Goa from 2015-17, Gaikwad reached the ISL final in 2015 but missed out on the trophy to Chennaiyin FC. The 28-year-old hoped he could make the playoffs again this time but Jamshedpur missed out on the berth, finishing fifth on the table. A move to either club will renew Gaikwad's hopes of securing the ISL title.