The 19-year-old Nigerian striker; Kelechi Iheanacho is going to miss the Olympics because the new Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wants him to stay back at the English club for pre-season training instead of representing his country at the Olympics.
Iheanacho was selected in Nigeria’s 35-man provisional squad for the football tournament at next month’s Games in Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic which starts between August 3 and 20.
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.
Iheanacho has indicated his interest to play at the Games if given the chance, but his club has made clear that their stance has not changed.
Manchester 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 January 2014, broke into the club’s senior side last season and scored 14 goals in 35 appearances in all competitions.
Speaking at a fan event at Man City’s Academy Stadium, Iheanacho said: “If your country wants you to play for them you surely have to do so, but it’s not up for me to decide.
“I don’t know if they have decided – my team and my country, I don’t know if they have concluded or not.”
“Everyone knows Pep and what he can do. I think he is a great manager and I think he will bring many things to this team.
“I can play number 9, 10, 7 and 11 as well so I can play in different positions. Anywhere I can fit in, I will play.
“I am happy with what I did last season and now I have to work really hard this season to get something for the team and work for the team as well.”
Though Iheanacho faces heavy competition to win a regular place in Man City’s line-up, with new £13.8m signing Nolito able to play in attack, as well as Bony and first-choice forward Sergio Aguero, the teenager believes that he can persuade Guardiola to give him a chance as City seek to improve on last season’s fourth-place finish.
Here's a selection of the biggest stories from Sunday's papers...
Manchester United are prepared to pay a £100m transfer fee for Paul Pogba, plus £250,000 a week in wages. (Mail on Sunday)
Pep Guardiola wants to sign Luis Suarez and Toni Kroos for Manchester City. (Sunday Mirror)
Chelsea will Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly for £30m. (Sunday Mirror)
Liverpool and Everton both want to sign Axel Witsel from Zenit St Petersburg. (Sunday Mirror)
Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is wanted by Real Madrid. (Sunday Mirror)
Steven Gerrard will be offered a coaching role with the England senior side and be consulted on the succesor to Roy Hodgson. (Sun on Sunday)
Arsene Wenger will be awarded a new Arsenal contract amid interest from the Football Association in the Frenchman succeeding Hodgson. (Sunday Express)
West Ham and Crystal Palace have been offered Robin van Persie by his current club Fenerbahce. (Sun on Sunday)
And here are the latest Blueprintafric.com headlines...â€‹Read More
The agent of Chelsea target Antonio Candreva is set for showdown talks with Lazio president Claudio Lotito in a bid to force through a move to Inter Milan.
Lazio are aware of the strong interest in their exciting midfielder, who scored 10 goals in 30 Serie A outings last term, not least from Chelsea and Inter.
Candreva is currently part of Italy's squad at Euro 2016 but his club future has come in for some intense speculation, although his current employers are desperate not to lose him.
But, according to sources in Italy, the 29-year-old is open to a move to Inter this summer while the chance to link up with his current Italy boss Antonio Conte at Chelsea could appeal to him too.
Inter were lining up a £15m offer for Candreva but it has been suggested that they are now ready to boost their initial bid to around £18.5m, which brings them closer to Lazio's valuation.
And now the Gazzetta dello Sport have claimed that the midfielder's agent Federico Pastorello will meet with Lotito this weekend in an attempt to persuade him to lower their demands with Inter ready to bid.
Chelsea transfer latest: Blues target Michy Batshuayi tells Marseille fans his exit will be confirmed on Sunday
Michy Batshuayi is a £33million target for Chelsea, according to reports
By talkSPORT - @talkSPORT
Saturday, July 2, 2016
Chelsea target Michy Batshuayi has written an open letter to Marseille supporters, which seemingly confirms his move to Stamford Bridge.
The 22-year-old Belgium striker has been linked with a £33million move to the Blues after two successful years at the Stade Velodrome.
And he has written directly to the French club’s fans to tell them his departure will be confirmed on Sunday.
Without hinting at his destination, he wrote in a post on his Twitter feed on Saturday evening: "It will be made official tomorrow, I will be leaving Olympique Marseille this summer."
After Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s PSG departure, Cavani’s agent said a summer exit was unlikely for the Uruguayan. But the Mirror report that the 29-year-old’s family want to leave the French capital and the Reds are said to be considering a move. His addition would undoubtedly add goals to Liverpool’s front line – he netted 81 times in 148 games for the Ligue 1 outfit – but it would take a hefty bid for him to be allowed to follow his Swedish strike partner out of the Parc des Princes exit.
Napoli striker Higuain is currently on international duty at the Copa America. The Argentinian, who netted 36 goals in 35 Serie A appearances, played as Klopp watched their match with Chile, sparking rumours of a deal. As talkSPORT told you this week, the 28-year-old has put a move on hold until after the tournament. He told Sky Italia: only thinking about the national team. We'll talk after the Copa.
Earlier this week, it looked as though Napoli would win the race for the Poland international's signature, but the situation may once again have changed. BeIN SPORTS journalist Tancredi Palmeri believes Zielinski has refused a 'Napoli proposal' in favour of pushing through a Reds move.
As talkSPORT are reporting, the Reds have cooled their pursuit of Mario Gotze, switching their attention to Lille playmaker Boufal. The highly-rated Moroccan is being sought after across Europe after scoring 12 goals in all competitions for the French side last season."
The former Arsenal centre-back made just ten La Liga appearances for Barca last season and he may seek a move elsewhere. Injuries have affected his appearance count but he may be tempted to stay put if Javier Mascherano heads to Juventus – which looks unlikely after his recent quotes from Copa America. Vermaelen's wife is English and the 30-year-old is believed to favour a move to the Premier League. Providing he stays fit, the Belgian would prove to be a terrific replacement for Martin Skrtel, who appears to be heading out of Anfield.
All eyes were on the 23-year-old this week when he netted a hat-trick for Brazil in their 7-1 Copa America win over Haiti. The former Inter Milan playmaker, who has been a hit on Merseyside, was recently linked with a move to Ligue 1 champions PSG and he played down talk in an interview with Sky Sports, stating his focus was on the current tournament in the USA.
The Germany international impressed for the Reds last season, most notably towards the end of the campaign. He looks set to extend his stay on Merseyside as he is reportedly in talks with the club regarding a new long-term deal.
The Belgian striker has been used sparingly since moving from Aston Villa last summer. After netting ten goals in his first season with the Reds, the 25-year-old recently admitted he would like to stay put - but only if he remains in his German manager's plans.
Reports from South Wales suggest Swansea are keen to bring their former midfielder back to the Liberty Stadium. The 26-year-old, who started his career with the Swans, has 12 months left on his current deal at Anfield and he said he would consider his options after Wales’ Euro 2016 campaign, with City chairman Huw Jenkins hopeful of a deal.
Several newspapers on Friday reported that AC Milan do not want to make the 25-year-old’s deal at the San Siro permanent and the Reds have instructed Balotelli to return for pre-season training next month. He will have competition for involvement though, with Daniel Sturridge, Christian Benteke, Divock Origi, Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino all ahead of him in the Anfield pecking order.
In shock reports on Friday, the Mirror believe Real Madrid and Barcelona are interested in taking 20-year-old Brannagan to Spain this summer. In an attempt to keep him at Anfield, the Reds could have to give the Salford-born midfielder assurances of his involvement in the first team in 2016/17.
The Mirror also believe the Reds are set to offload the Serbian permanently. The 22-year-old spent last season on loan in Turkey at Fenerbahce and he could be heading to their bitter rivals Galatasaray. He showed glimpses of his capabilities in his first season at Anfield, after a £20million switch, but he has failed to fully convince the Reds hierarchy.
PLANNING FOR NEXT YEAR
With Arsenal looking to seal the signing of Jamie Vardy, Jeremy Wilson and Charlie Eccleshare look at who else Arsene Wenger might buy and how the side could line up next season. The following 11 players are set up in Wenger's preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.
Credits: TheTelegraphRead More