Two-time I-League champions and AFC Cup finalists Bengaluru FC have retained skipper Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh ahead of their debut in the upcoming season of the Indian Super League. The duo signed three-year deals that will keep them with the Blues till the end of the 2019-20 season, the club announced on Friday.

BFC will be one of the two new teams in an expanded ISL season, along with a team from Jamshedpur owned by TATA group, after their successful bids. By retaining the two star players, the club have met the ISL’s rule of a maximum of two retentions for players over 21 years, a press release from the club stated.

“We are thrilled at being able to retain the present and the future of Indian football in Sunil and Udanta. The two of them have been immense for Bengaluru FC and will be vital cogs in our wheel as we take on the challenge of rebuilding the club for what will be a tough season ahead,” said club CEO, Parth Jindal.

Chhetri, 32, has been with BFC since their inception, finishing top scorer for the Blues every year. Udanta, meanwhile, joined Bengaluru in the 2014-15 season. The 21-year-old from Manipur had a breakthrough season under Albert Roca last season and played a key role in the club’s Federation Cup triumph.

“I’ve always been vocal about how Bengaluru FC is a club that is always close to my heart and I couldn’t be happier to commit three years to the blue shirt of BFC. The Bengaluru FC fans have always shown me so much of love and I’m glad at the prospect of playing in front of them yet again. With Bengaluru in the ISL, these are exciting times at the club and I’m sure we will build the best possible squad for the season,” said Chhetri, who with 54 goals is also the top scorer for the national team.

Udanta too expressed happiness at extending his stay with Bengaluru. “I’ve progressed and learnt so much in the three years that I’ve been with Bengaluru FC and I’m looking forward to giving the club and its fans three of my best years to come. It’s also reassuring to have Sunil bhai with me here and I’m confident we will be fighting for trophies like we always do,” said Udanta.