East Bengal have started assembling their squad for the 2015-16 I-League campaign in earnest, after officially communicating the captures of Mumbai FC’s defender Rahul Bheke and Salgaocar’s midfielder Bikash Jairu.
Goal had earlier revealed that the pair was already well under way to being important constituents of the Red and Gold’s squad, alongside the signing of notable Mohun Bagan defender Bello Razaq. The length of contracts or other aspects of their contracts remain undisclosed.
24 year-old Bheke, who had been a decent performer for Mumbai FC last season, began his career at the commercial capital based club Air India, with whom he made his I-League debut in 2011, against Pune FC. He made a total of 29 appearances for the club, before opting to join the Mumbai Tigers in 2013.
However, after the club formally disbanded without playing a game, Bheke opted to join Mumbai FC in January, 2014. He made his competitive debut for the side in a Federation Cup tie. He signed a contract extension with Mumbai FC in September 2014, but with the Kolkata giants calling, Bheke decided to move forth.
In 42 games played so far in his nascent career, the strapping centre-back has just received 4 yellow cards, including a warning-less season in 2014-15, wherein he played 14 games without getting booked. He scored an important goal in Mumbai FC’s 2-0 win over Bharat FC, his only contribution in terms of hitting the back of the net, this past season.
The other candidate that has put pen-to-paper for the Red and Gold is Bikash Jairu, who joins from the Greens of Goa, Salgaocar. Jairu scored six goals in 28 appearances in two seasons with the club.
Coincidentally, Jairu too was a former Mumbai Tigers representative, before tying up with the Goan side.
Jairu and Bheke will be the first of a few signings for the Kolkata giants, who are still recovering from a disastrous end of season run-in, in the I-League, which saw them finish fourth as archrivals Mohun Bagan sealed the I-League.