Sources from Portugal following the development conferred to IFTWC that the Blasters have held preliminary talks with Rafael Lopes over a move to the club. The 30-year-old also has an offer from Australia currently.
Rafa Lopes featured in 27 games in the Ekstraklasa last season, recording two assists and five goals. He also played in six Champions League Qualifier games last season before Warszawa ended up in the Europa League. The Polish team was placed in a group with the likes of Leicester City, Napoli, and Spartak Moscow. Legia ultimately failed to advance past the group stage, and Lopes started one game against Napoli and came off the bench in the other four.
Prior to his stints in Cyprus and Poland, the 30-year-old spent most of his early years in Portugal. Lopes has geared up for teams like Boavista, where he made 28 appearances while scoring three goals and providing two assists. In addition to winning the Polish Cup with Cracovia in 2019, the striker has also won the Polish Championship with Legia last year.
Rafael Lopes was also a part of the U20 Portugal National Team in 2011 and featured in the U20 World Cup alongside the likes of Napoli left-back Mario Rui, Arsenal defender Cedric Soares, and PSG midfielder Danilo. However, Lopes’ team, finished as runners-up in the tournament.
Kerala Blasters have big shoes to fill in the forward position after Alvaro Vazquez’s departure, and Lopes has been noted as a player who could do the job. The last season’s runners-up are in talks with the Portuguese, but it still remains to be seen if Lopes will join Kerala.
Kerala Blasters have till now announced the signings of Bryce Miranda and Saurav Mandal from Churchill Brothers. Albino Gomes, Chencho Gyeltshen, Enes Sipovic, and Seityasen Singh, on the other hand, were not retained for the upcoming campaign.
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