Mumbai City FC have roped in 2019-20 Indian Super League (ISL) Hero of the season Hugo Boumous, Goal can confirm.
The France-born attacking midfielder had a contract until 2021 with FC Goa who wanted to keep him at the club. But the Islanders have reportedly paid the Gaurs ₹1.6 crores which was Boumous' release clause.
Mumbai City did try to negotiate a lower fee for the 25-year-old midfielder but FC Goa were adamant that any club that wanted him had to meet the release clause. The negotiations did take a while and has now finally come to a close.
In fact, FC Goa had to publicly state that they will not let go off Boumous for any amount lesser than the release clause. This was after Boumous publicly stated his desire to leave. It must also be noted that in April 2020, Boumous had left the FC Goa players' WhatsApp group.
In an emotional Instagram post, Boumous wrote, “I would like to announce that my journey with FC Goa is over. It has been a hard decision to make. I’m grateful to have represented the colours and the state of Goa across India. Thanks for all the love I received from the fans.”
The official statement from FC Goa said: “The club would like to state that Hugo Boumous continues to remain a contracted player with FC Goa. There is no agreement that has been reached with any other club on the same.”
However, the saga has finally come to an end.
Mumbai City, who already have signed some star names in Bartholomew Ogbeche, Ahmed Jahouh and Mourtada Fall, have added another potential superstar to the mix in Boumous. This addition is set to turn the side into a very exciting team to watch in the upcoming season.
The deal sees Boumous rejoin his former manager Sergio Lobera who parted ways with FC Goa three games before the end of the league stage last season.
Boumous has already played under Lobera at Moroccan club Moghreb Tetouan before the Spanish manager came to India. He would duly bring in Boumous in the January (2018) transfer window in his first season at FC Goa.
Boumous would go on to be a hit with Goa, thanks to his dribbling ability, vision and a penchant for scoring. He would truly come into his own in the 2019-20 season, scoring and assisting for fun.
He ended up with 10 goals and 11 assists in the 2019-20 season and won the Hero of the Season award.
Now, Mumbai City will hope that the talented midfielder takes it up a notch, while donning their colours.