Bengaluru, Feb 23 (IANS) In what is a landmark deal in Indian football, Bengaluru FC on Friday reached an agreement with Chinese League One side Zhejiang Luchéng to sell Spanish winger Edu Garcia for an undisclosed fee, the southern club announced on Friday.
The deal makes Bengaluru FC the first Indian club to earn a fee from a foreign club for the transfer of a player.
Bengaluru signed Garcia on a season-long deal in September and the former Zaragoza man was an instant hit, scoring the Blues’ first ever goal in the Indian Super League (ISL) in the 2-0 win over Mumbai City FC at the Kanteerava Stadium.
The second of his two goals for the club came earlier this month against Goa here. Always dangerous with his set-piece deliveries, Garcia also racked up five assists for the Albert Roca-coached side.
Lucheng, who also go by the name Zhejiang Greentown, showed interest in Garcia and an agreement with Bengaluru was reached after close to two weeks of negotiations.
The formalities were completed on Thursday, five days prior to the closing of the Chinese transfer window on February 28, and Garcia joins the team in Spain where they are on a pre-season tour.
“It was an offer that worked well for the club, Edu and Luchéng. It’s also a matter a pride that the deal is a historic one in Indian football and that Bengaluru FC is involved in it. Edu has been fantastic for us in the short time he has spent at the club and we thank him for his contribution while wishing him luck for the future,” said Bengaluru FC COO Mustafa Ghouse.
Roca too thanked the winger for his efforts that have played its part in Bengaluru’s surge to the semi-final of the ISL. “Edu has been a thorough professional during his time at the club and he was presented an opportunity that seemed right to say yes to. His contribution to our season so far has been very valuable and I wish him the best.”
At Lucheng, Garcia will team up with Spanish coach Sergi Barjuan for the club which plays at the Yellow Dragon Sports Centre in Hangzhou. The League One season kicks off on March 10.