With Mumbai FC facing a financial dilemma, the heart of the club in the form of their central midfielders – Kalia Koluthungan and Riston Rodrigues have switched their loyalties to I-League runners-up Mohun Bagan.
While Riston signed up with the Green and Maroons on Sunday, Kulothungan put pen to paper only on Tuesday evening at his home in Thanjavur.
Riston said, “Just a fortnight back, Mumbai FC were offering me a good deal for the next three years but due to the problems the club is facing, I had no option but to move on.
“We had an informal meeting with the coach and some from the management told us to sign up if we get a good offer from other clubs rather than waiting for one at Mumbai FC.”
The 29 year old was approached by the likes of East Bengal and Pune FC as well but the medio opted for Mohun Bagan for getting to work under Coach Karim Bencherifa.
“Pune FC had approached but I can’t take any chances with a new club. You can’t trust new clubs any more as they can shut at any moment. Teams are Mohun Bagan are here to stay. I have signed for two years,” added Riston.
Kulothungan too added that the confusion at Mumbai FC meant that he had to look out for offers. The 29 year old had a great season with Mumbai FC scoring seven goals in the I-League and thereby in contention for the Best Midfielder of the season award.
“I have signed for a year with Mohun Bagan and have informed our coach David Booth as he had asked us to keep him posted if we do sign elsewhere,” said Kulothungan.
Several other players are also on the radar of other I-League clubs and it remains to be seen what Mumbai FC are to conjure up to deal with this imminent problem.