Manchester City are reportedly struggling to sell their unwanted forward Kelechi Iheanacho.
The Premier League billionaires have told the Super Eagles striker, alongside Eliaquim Mangala, Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony, Fabian Delph and Fernando, that he does not fit into Pep Guardiola’s plans for the new season.
Iheanacho, who was omitted from Man City’s preseason tour of the United States, dropped down the pecking order at the Eithad Stadium following the arrival of Brazilian wonderkid Gabriel Jesus from Palmeiras in January on a five-year deal reportedly worth £27m.
Despite having limited playing time, Iheanacho notched four Premier league goals in 20 appearances for the Citizens last season.
Although the UAE 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup winner has been given the all-clear to leave the club this summer, our correspondent learnt that the Nigerian, who joined Man City from Taye Academy in 2014, is allegedly proving difficult to sell so far.
Iheanacho has been linked with a £25m move to Premier League mid-table outfits West Ham, West Brom and Leicester but no switch has materialised as the 20-year-old remains a Man City player.
It was learnt that suitors are not comfortable with Man City’s insistence on inserting a clause giving them first option on buying him back if he proves a success.
It was also learnt that the mid-table clubs are stunned by Iheanacho’s reported £85,000-a-week pay.
Leicester are said to be ready to splash out £25m on the player but are finding it hard to convince the youngster to accept a wage cut to seal a move to the Power Stadium, where he Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare has allegedly guaranteed him regular starting roles.
Guardiola, who confirmed that the club had placed a buy back clause in Iheanacho’s proposed transfer, said on Wednesday the deal would be completed in 10 days.
“It is an honour to work with him (Iheanacho) because it was not easy for him because I did not give him much opportunities,” the former Barca boss told reporters ahead of his side’s clash against city rivals Manchester United in Houston on Thursday (Friday in Nigeria) .
“His behaviour, I’ve never seen a guy like him (before).
“He is close to making a deal. Maybe next week or the next 10 days .
“We have an option to bring him back.
“He’s a young player and we believe he deserves to play. He needs to play at that age and that’s why him, the club and everybody, wants the best for him.”