Nicolas Anelka's Mumbai City recruit Darren O'Dea

Darren O'Dea trains with Celtic
O'Dea trained with Celtic last year

Republic of Ireland defender Darren O'Dea is to join Nicolas Anelka's Mumbai City in the Indian Super League.

Anelka was appointed player-manager last week and O'Dea expects to sign his contract on Saturday.

But the 28-year-old will be back in Scotland in December to seek a new club at the end of the Indian season.

"I have spoken to 20 to 30 teams, but my little girl starts school this year and we're settled up in Scotland," he said, explaining his decision.

"So moving would have been a big decision.

"It is actually only a four-month league, so I'll go there and, although they'll probably visit once or twice, it will leave them settled.

"Then, come Christmas, we will wait and see what I will do."

Dublin-born O'Dea came through the youth ranks with Celtic and had loan spells with Reading, Ipswich Town and Leeds United before moving to Toronto in Major League Soccer.

His next stop was Metalurh Donetsk in the Ukrainian Premier League before ending last season with Blackpool.

Nicolas Anelka in action for Mumbai City
Nicolas Anelka played for Mumbai City in the Indian Super League last season

O'Dea made 20 appearances after signing for the troubled Seasiders in December but was unable to help them avoid relegation from the English Championship.

"It will be a new experience, a new chapter," he told BBC Scotland when revealing his move to India.

"I am well-travelled as it is and it's something I'm looking forward to."

Asked what he knew about the quality of football in the Indian Super League, O'Dea admitted: "I haven't a clue.

"It is only in its second year, so it's still finding its feet.

"Every team needs one marquee player to bring a bit of attention to the league and they are certainly giving it a good go, the way you will be looked after.

"I've spoken to players who played there last year and it was fantastic.

"It is another experience and something I'm looking forward to.

"The contract runs until 22 December, which is the final over there, so after that I'll have Christmas at home and from 1 January will be looking to play again, wherever that may be."

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