Bengaluru FC sign India international Nikhil Poojary

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Bengaluru, Jan 31 (PTI) Bengaluru FC, on Wednesday, announced the signing of defender Nikhil Poojary on a deal that keeps the India international with the Blues till the end of the 2027-28 season.

The announcement comes a day after the club signed Chinglensana Singh on a long-term deal, underlining intent in what's been a busy January transfer window for the club.

Poojary started twice and came on as a substitute once in India's group stage games at the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar earlier this month, and has been a mainstay on the national team for some time now.

Speaking on his signing with Bengaluru, Poojary said, "I did have a few offers to choose from, but the BCF project and the way they want to go about things is what made the decision easier for me.

"I had extensive chats with the management and the coach, and I feel this club is where I can help create an impact, and build on my potential.

"I have come up against BFC on many occasions in the past, and have always admired the atmosphere the fans bring to the Kanteerava. It's going to be nice to play for, and in front of them." Born in Karnataka, Poojari spent most of his youth career at clubs in Mumbai, before signing for East Bengal in what would be his first senior move.

He then spent a season with Pune City FC and followed it with a move to Hyderabad FC, with whom he became ISL champion in the 2021-22 season.

The Blues haven't had the best of starts to the season, and coach Gerard Zaragoza believes that Poojary's experience and versatility will help bolster Bengaluru's push.

"In signing Nikhil, we are signing experience and quality. Our focus this January window was to add quality Indian defenders to the squad and I believe we have managed to do that well," the coach said.

"Nikhil is an offensive right-back who will help us a lot in attack, and his experience will be crucial in all the defensive demands that we have from our players." PTI AH AH SSC SSC

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