FC Pune City ropes in Arias and Bikey

Both Bruno Arias and Andre Bikey represented North East United FC in the Indian Super League last season.

Andre Bikey during his time at Middlesbrough.   -  Getty Images

FC Pune City has snapped up Bruno Arias and Andre Bikey to strengthen its midfield for the upcoming edition of the Indian Super League. Both Bruno and Andre represented North East United FC last season.

A product of Spanish club Sevilla FC's youth system, Bruno made the first-team before joining Real Murcia which earned promotion to La Liga. In 2013, he represented Buriram United in the Thai Premier League, where he won both league and cup with the side.

Bikey represented Cameroon in the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The centre-half, who can also play in midfield, started his career with Spanish side Espanyol, moved to Shinnik Yaroslavl in Russia before signing for Lokomotiv Moscow in 2005. He joined Reading on loan in 2006 before completing a permanent transfer a year later for £1m, making over 70 appearances for the Berkshire side.

Head coach Antonio Habas said, “Bruno always has had a powerful presence, competing for every ball, and putting his opponents under constant pressure. His ability with the ball to navigate it away from the opposition and feed it to the forwards is impeccable. Bikey adds depth to our defensive unit and as and when team needs, he is more than capable of slipping into the role of a midfielder too.”

Representing his third club in as many ISL seasons, Bruno said, “I am thankful to FC Pune City for providing me a new challenge. I can’t wait to join Spanish manager (Antonio) Habas and others at the club. Fans can expect nothing less than 100% from me.”

Andre Bikey was excited about his move to Pune. “I am thrilled to be a part of FC Pune City. It’s good to come back and play in this ever-growing league with a professional outfit like this. My efforts will be to ensure the Orange Army has more reasons to cheer.”

Co-owner and Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan welcomed the addition of the two experienced hands. “Bruno brings that Spanish touch on the field with his immaculate passing. On the other hand, Andre brings the solidity and strength at the back. Their addition to our squad shows that we are determined to win.”

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