In what is a landmark deal in Indian football, Bengaluru FC have reached an agreement with Chinese League One side Zhejiang Lǜchéng for the transfer of Spanish winger Edu Garcia for an undisclosed fee, the 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.
The Blues 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 in the 2-0 win over Mumbai City FC at the Kanteerava. The second of his two goals for the club came earlier this month against Goa, once again at the Fortress. Always dangerous with his set-piece deliveries, Garcia also racked up five assists for Albert Roca’s side.
Lǜchéng, 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 Lǜchéng. 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 club COO, Mustafa Ghouse.
Coach Albert Roca too thanked the winger for his efforts that have played its part in Bengaluru’s surge to the semifinal 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 Lǜchéng, Garcia will team up with Spanish coach Sergi Barjuan for the club which plays at the Yellow Dragon Sports Center in Hangzhou. The League One season kicks off on March 10.