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I-League: Aizawl FC bolster squad by signing Romanian striker Andrei Ionescu

09:30 GMT+3 27/08/2017
Andrei Ionescu Steaua Bucharest
The Romanian has earlier tuned out for the likes of Steaua Bucharest, Royal Antwerp and FC Eindhoven, now setting his sights on India...

Defending I-League champions Aizawl FC have signed Romanian striker Andrei Ionescu for the season ahead.

The 29-year-old has represented his national side's U-19 and U-21 teams in the past and had last plied his trade at Hungarian top division side FC Voluntari. A product of the PSV Eindhoven youth academy, this will be his second stint in Asia after a spell at Iraqi side Naft Al-Janoob in 2014/15.

After the departure of I-League winning coach Khalid Jamil to East Bengal and a host of players from the first team, the north-eastern side have appointed Portuguese coach Paulo Menezes to steady the ship.

While the club have already signed forwards Leonce Dodoz and Yugo Kobayashi, the duo of Kareem Omolaja and club captain Alfred Jaryan will be part of the Red's squad that start their season in the sixth edition of the Mizoram Premier League (MPL) on 31st August.

Earlier this week, the club also announced the arrival of Afghan defender Masih Saighani from German side Türkgücü Friedberg. The 30-year-old is one of the several Afghan footballers who spent their entire footballing career in Europe and now arrives in Asia for the first time as a professional. 

The left-footed defender has been capped twice at the international level and has two senior goals to his names. Aizawl FC thus have completed their Asian quota by bringing in Saighani after Kobayashi from Japan.

While the I-League is set to start in November after the completion of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in the country, Aizawl FC kick-off their MPL 2017 campaign against Ramhlun North FC next Thursday.