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Pune City FC in talks with Bikey, Velez

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Andre Bikey; image credit: Daily Mail

Mumbai: With the third edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) approaching, the franchises are on their toes to close in on deals that may benefit them for one more season. Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan-co-owned Pune City FC are learnt to have been negotiating with two North East United FC footballers — Andre Bikey and Nicolas Velez — for the upcoming third season.

Former Atletico de Kolkata coach Antonio Habas has taken charge of the Pune City FC and he apparently has given the club the list of players he would like to work with in the next season.

NEUFC signed Bikey last season as an injury replacement for Miguel Garcia and figured in the playing XI for nine outings. The defender also has a goal against his name. The 31-year-old centre back played with repute for English Premier League club Reading for three seasons.

Bikey moved to Burnley on a longer contract and played 70 matches representing the club. He donned Reading colours in 47 outings. The central defender started his career in 2001 with Spanish side Espanyol B.

Velez, on the other hand, are contracted with Croatian outfit HNK Hajduk Split and has already played four matches for them after he was released by NEUFC. The 25-year-old had his best for top tier Singapore League club Warriors FC. The Argentine striker represented the club in matches matches and scored 29 goals for them.

Now, if the Western India franchise can bring both in their ranks, half the work will be done by them at the very outset. The squad will be hugely boosted by the inclusion of one defender and a striker after having already signed Apoula Edel and Bruno Arias.