Kolkata: Former ATK and Chennaiyin FC striker Fikru Teferra is in talks with I-League club Mohun Bagan reports claimed today. The Ethiopian forward is currently a free-agent which makes matters much more easier for the Mariners to sign him up before the all-important Kolkata derby on January 21.
Bagan’s campaign this season which has crumbled to pieces after a shock 1-2 loss against Chennai City at the Maidan reached a new low after another such defeat to Minerva Punjab, their second in three home matches and that combined with another three successive draws earlier saw Sanjoy Sen step down after three years at the helm. Liberian Ansumana Kromah, guilty of missing multiple opportunities at crucial junctures of those matches including a penalty was also shown the door.
Former Churchill Brothers star Akram Moghrabi was signed as his replacement and now it seems talks with Fikru has reached an advanced stage with final deal only a matter of time.
Interestingly, arch-rivals East Bengal were earlier the favourites to sign the Ethiopian national who has scored 10 goals in 30 appearances for his country. But talks halted after Fikru demanded a hefty sum and the Red and Golds went ahead and signed Eduardo Pereira Rodrigues (Dudu) on a year-long deal.
Although there is no such issue in finalising the deal for Bagan, the squad is full and hence the deal can only be finalised after the club manages to reach a mutual agreement with one of the six current foreign players to terminate their contract. In most likely it seems to be Dipanada Dicka, who after a glorious season with Shillong Lajong last term has failed to live up to expectations.
Kromah on his way out had alleged of the Cameroonian not being fit enough to train and also blamed the latter for squandering easy chances that led to such deafening results.
Fikru meanwhile is one of the few players to win the Indian Super League (ISL) twice with two different teams. He was an important part of ATK when they lifted the crown in it’s inaugural season contributing five goals in 12 appearances. He was picked up by Chennaiyin the very next season but managed to find the net just once in 11 outings, although the ‘Marina Machans’ won the title that season.