Monday, 4 July 2016

Iheanacho would have relished Nigeria Olympic opportunity

Iheanacho would have relished Nigeria Olympic opportunity
The striker was called up for international duty at the Brazil Games this summer but will instead stay with the Etihad club for new boss pre-season under Pep Guardiola
Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho says he would have relished the opportunity to play for Nigeria at the Olympics.
The 19-year-old had been named in a 35-man preliminary squad for this summer’s Games in Rio de Janeiro, but City have made it clear that he will be staying with them for pre-season.
Iheanacho made his City breakthrough last season and his club are keen to keep him around to work under new manager Pep Guardiola ahead of the start of the 2016-17 campaign.
The youngster is thought to be happy with the decision to keep him out of the tournament, which will run between August 3 and 20, but says he would have been just as pleased to represent his country.
“It’s up to the club and country to decide what is going to happen,” he told the press. “If your country wants you to play, you really want to go and play as well.”
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Iheanacho, who was signed from the Taye Academy in Nigeria in 2014, says he is equally looking forward to working under new City boss Guardiola.
The striker remembers watching the Catalan’s successful Barcelona side as he was growing up in Imo, but never expected to get the chance to work alongside him.
“I think everyone knows about him,” he added. “He’s a great manager. He’s coached great teams - Barcelona, Bayern Munich. He’s done great for all the teams I think.
“I watched Barcelona. He’s a great manager, they played really well, were a great team and won trophies.
“I didn’t think [I would play under Pep] but now I’m under him and I can’t wait to meet him and work with him as well.”
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