India's no. 1 Gurpreet Singh signs for Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru, which is the new entrant to the ISL, has made a statement of intent with the signing of the India number one.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is the first-choice goalkeeper for the national side.   -  Special arrangement

Bengaluru FC (BFC) has signed ace India international goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu for the 2017-18 campaign, the club announced here on Thursday. Gurpreet arrives from Norwegian side Stabaek FC for an undisclosed transfer amount.

The Chandigarh player, regarded as the best custodian in the country, will be available for BFC’s home leg of the AFC Cup inter-zonal semifinal, against North Korean side April 25 SC, on Wednesday here.

Bengaluru, which is the new entrant to the ISL, has made a statement of intent with the signing of the India number one.

Gurpreet, who has signed a one-year deal, said, “I’m extremely delighted. While the experience of playing in Europe was fantastic, lack of game-time was an important factor in my decision to move back to India.

"I had an offer from another top-flight club in Europe, but the need to play regularly ahead of the AFC Asian Cup in 2019 was something that was on my mind.

"The fact that BFC was interested in me was encouraging, considering what they have achieved over the last few years. BFC playing on the continental level this season, and the next, provides the perfect platform for me,” he added.
 

Gurpreet moved to Europe as a 22-year-old, signing for Stabaek in August 2014. In May 2016, he became the first Indian footballer to play in a European top division league. Later that year, the Punjab shot-stopper became the first Indian footballer to feature in a UEFA Europa League match.

The two-time I-League champion also signed Spanish forward Braulio Nobrega Rodriguez last week in its bid for success in its maiden ISL campaign.