Kelechi Iheanacho set for a loan move
Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho is set for a summer move away from the Etihad possibly on a loan.
The Nigerian Striker joined Manchester City academy in 2014 from Nigerian Taye Academy. He broke into the first team under former City boss Manuel Pellegrini last season. The Fly Eagles striker got some decent first-team experience last season and made instant impact at the Etihad. But since Pep Guardiola’s arrival at the helm of the club, Kelechi has seen his game time reduced by a significant amount.
Kelechi has featured in 19 Premier League matches this season while starting only 5 of them. He is now 3rd in the pecking order with both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are preferred over him by Pep Guardiola. Although Guardiola praised Kelechi’s commitment and work-rate, the gaffer refused to comment on his future fuelling speculations regarding a summer move away from the Etihad.
Kelechi’s agent has also recently vented his frustration towards Guardiola.
“Iheanacho needs to leave Manchester City and he will find a better place to continue his younger career,” he told Completesportsnigeria.com.
“Guardiola seems to have his own players that he wants to play and you can’t expect a young player with huge potentials to be wasting away on the bench.”
“Kelechi had already shown his quality before Manchester City signed Gabriel Jesus, he had already proven himself.”
“I’m not speaking for Iheanacho, but as someone who is involved in advising him, I don’t think he has been treated fairly by Guardiola and I think his career will be better elsewhere.”
“For whatever reason, he has not been given the opportunity to continue his progress at City.”
Now Owngoalnigeria reports that Bundesliga side TSG Hoffenheim and Premier League outfit Southampton are interested in taking the youngster on loan.
TSG Hoffenheim have already qualified for next season’s Champions League. That means if Kelechi decides to join Hoffenheim, he can play against the European elites. Reports further claim that Hoffenheim have already started negotiations with Manchester City over a season-long loan deal. But the discussions have come to a halt. Hoffenheim want City to add a buy-out clause in the deal but the Sky Blues are in no mood yet to sell Kelechi permanently.
Southampton boss Claude Puel is also said to be a big admirer of the Nigerian striker and wants to take him on a loan deal. Although Southampton can’t offer him European football, Kelechi’s desire to stay at England would be a massive boost for the Saints in their pursuit of the Nigerian.
Reports from Nigeria previously also stated that Manchester City will try to use Kelechi as a bait to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who is valued at around £60m by Borussia Dortmund. The Signal Iduna Park has been an exciting destination for youngsters in recent years. So, any such deal if happens, makes sense for both the parties.
Kelechi has secured 504 minutes of first-team appearance this season for City scoring four goals and assisting further three. He has recently extended his contract at the Etihad till 2022.