Sandesh Jhingan is India’s most expensive defender

KOCHI: Kerala Blasters have retained Sandesh Jhingan by inking a whopping Rs 3.8 crore deal with the Chandigarh lad. The three-year deal with Jhingan ...

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KOCHI: Kerala Blasters have retained Sandesh Jhingan by inking a whopping Rs 3.8 crore deal with the Chandigarh lad. The three-year deal with Jhingan makes him the highest-paid Indian defender. Franchisees were given time until Friday by ISLorganisers to decide on the two players they would be retaining for the next season and Blasters opted for Jhingan after signing Vineeth three days back.jhingan

Besides the two, the Sachin Tendulkar co-owned club had also retained Prasanth K as one of its U-21 players.

“The love and support given to me by the people of Kerala is something I will cherish for the rest of my life and may our love relation never end. I am staying home, I am staying in Kerala. I am glad to have penned down a deal with Kerala Blasters FCtill 2020,” Jhingan said about his continuing association with Blasters in a Facebook post.

“Sandesh Jhingan is one of the best defenders in India and he has a very long and wonderful association with Kerala Blasters. We are very happy to retain him for the fourth edition of ISL,” said Varun Tripuraneni, CEO of Kerala Blasters.
While Blasters were quick to sign Vineeth after he was released by Bengaluru FC, there was a lot of speculation about Jhingan. It is learnt that the team management had even explored the possibility of signing Mehtab Hossain and Rino Anto after they found Jhingan’s price difficult to match. But realising that getting Jhingan from the players draft would be expensive, Blasters decided to close the deal on Friday itself. The 23-year-old became a darling of fans in Kerala after his robust defending went a long way in Blasters’ entry into the final of ISL in its maiden season, where they went down to Atletico de Kolkata. He was adjudged the ‘Emerging Player of the Year’ in ISL-1 and soon received a two-year contract from Blasters. He was later loaned out to Sporting Goa, DSK Shivajians and Bengaluru FC by the team management but has remained an integral part of Blasters set-up in the ISL in the last three years.

After retaining Jhingan, the Blasters have now completed two domestic signings and one U-21 player signing and now they can enter the player draft only in the third round. The ISL Indian player draft will be held on July 23.

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