Sport

Man City in row with Nigeria over Kelechi Iheanacho playing in the Olympics

Kelechi Iheanacho will miss the Olympics because new Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wants him to stay at the English club for pre-season training instead of representing his country at the Olympics.
The 19-year-old striker was selected in Nigeria’s 35-man provisional squad for the football tournament at next month’s Games in Rio de Janeiro.
That was despite the fact that City had written to the Nigerian Football Federation to tell them that Iheanacho would not be available, and had a letter back acknowledging that decision.
The forward has indicated that he would love to play at the Games given the chance, but his club have made clear that their stance has not changed.
Going to Brazil for the Olympics for the football tournament, which takes place between August 3 and 20, would have resulted in him missing the opening weeks of the Premier League season.

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City believes that he will benefit more from spending a full pre-season working with Guardiola as he seeks to establish himself as a first-team regular at the Etihad Stadium.
Iheanacho, who joined City from the Taye Academy in his native Nigeria in January 2014, broke into the club’s senior side last season and scored 14 goals in 35 appearances in all competitions.
His displays have seen him move above Wilfried Bony, the experienced Ivory Coast international, in the pecking order.

[Today]

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