Chennaiyin FC retains Harmanjot Khabra

Coach Marco Materazzi expressed his pleasure in retaining the services of the former East Bengal midfielder. Khabra is expected to pair up with Brazilian Raphael Augusto in the central midfield.

Khabra was on loan from East Bengal to Chennaiyin in the first two ISL seasons.   -  R. Ravindran

Indian Super League champion, Chennaiyin FC, has signed permanent deals with Harmanjot Singh Khabra and Raphael Augusto. Khabra, who has made 27 appearances for the club, played on loan from East Bengal in the first two ISL seasons.

“Chennaiyin FC is my second family. I have spent two wonderful years with the franchise and I have got great support from everyone at the club. We worked really hard to have two consistent campaigns and especially last year we showed great character to become champion. This year it is going to be even tougher to retain the title but we will back ourselves to go all the way again,” Khabra said.

As >reported by Sportstar yesterday, the Brazilian Augusto, who had played for CFC on loan from Brazilian giants Fluminense during ISL 2015, has now joined on a free transfer.The 25-year-old’s all-round game from central midfield was second to none in the league and it was unfortunate that he got injured in Chennaiyin’s last home match in the league stage against Mumbai City FC and missed the rest of the tournament.

“I am so happy to have signed for Chennaiyin again. I would like to thank the owners and coach for believing in me again. I have played outside Brazil in the past but the spell I had at Chennaiyin has been the best of my career. I hope to play the full season this time and make the SuperMachans happy by keeping the trophy in Chennai,” Augusto stated.

Coach Marco Materazzi regularly picked the central midfield pairing of Khabra and Augusto last season and he expressed his delight on retaining the duo. “We are happy to have Khabra and Raphael back. Khabra was a very important player for us in the first two seasons and he can only get better. Raphael was one of the best players of ISL 2015 until his injury. I have faith in him to come back even stronger this year,” Materrazi said.