Mumbai City FC have captured the signature of East Bengal midfielder Mohammed Rafique for the 2018-19 edition of the Indian Super League (ISL), Goal can confirm.
The Islanders have been quick to make early moves this close season and the 27-year-old is the latest addition after the likes of Milan Singh, Bipin Singh, Subhasish Bose, Souvik Chakraborty have penned a deal with Mumbai.
Rafique, who came into the limelight after scoring the winning goal in the ISL 2014 final for ATK, turned out for Kerala Blasters in ISL 2016. He, however, chose to remain with his parent club East Bengal this season with both the ISL and I-League running simultaneously.
A member of the Indian national team set-up since early 2016, one of Rafique’s main reasons for a move away from Kolkata is lack of game time. Having only started five I-League games this season, a change of colours could further push him up in the pecking order for the national team with the AFC Asian Cup in January 2019.
Coincidentally, East Bengal defeated Mumbai City FC in a Round of 16 game of the ongoing 2018 Super Cup. Rafique is not a part of the East Bengal squad for the Super Cup as he is nursing a Grade 1 tear in his calf muscle.
The former United SC man has 10 senior India caps and one international goal to his name. He played the full 90 minutes of India’s recent 2-1 loss away to the Kyrgyz Republic last month.