The possibility of Kelechi Iheanacho remaining at Manchester City for the up coming season cannot be ruled out with the ongoing transfer saga the young Nigerian has found himself in.
At some point there were multiple clubs jostling for the signature of the talented striker at the Etihad stadium, with clubs like Crystal palace; West Ham, Everton, Tottenham and Leicester City all chasing Iheanacho. There were also interests from German sides Borussia Dortmund and Hoffeinham.
Fast forward to the present situation and only Leicester City seems to be hanging around, with Guardiola even suggesting that Iheanacho will be part of the Manchester City squad if the transfer fails to materialize.
This raises the chances of Iheanacho returning to the cold isolation of Manchester City’s fringe players.
So what really is hindering the transfer of Kelechi Iheanacho?
Is it possible that Manchester City’s stringent clauses like a fixed buy back option to be inserted in the deal for example be the sole reason or contributing factor? Perhaps Pep Gaurdiola wants Iheanacho as a back up squad member.
Having highlighted the possible reason for the deal to fall through, let’s focus on Iheanacho for a moment and see if the personal engagements of the player are perhaps the main reason for the transfer to stall. Especially knowing Manchester City and Leicester have both agreed on a transfer fee and Guardiola even giving his blessings for Iheanacho to switch allegiance.
The Iheanacho image rights and agency representative situation is complicated as well.
Having signed over his image rights to American based agency group ‘First Eleven’ back in 2013, Iheanacho later signed for British based agency management ‘Stellar Group’ last year while the deal with First Eleven still subsisted.
Having done so and realising the risk involved, the player took the case to court asking that the contract with first Eleven be voided.
Iheanacho filed a suit against two area attorneys, alleging they received more compensation than agreed upon for his likeness and image, alleging breach of contract enough to warrant outright cancellation of the deal. According to a suit filed in Luzerne County Court.
The forward lost out on that front, and as the matter still subsists in litigation over who owns his actual right, the player and his representatives sensing the protracted matter is likely to cost Iheanacho his move away from Manchester City as his options of a possible transfer continues to dwindle.
Iheanacho has since offered to pay his former agents (first Eleven) £540,000 (equivalent to N254 million) as out-of-court settlement, but the American based agency turned down the offer, demanding £3m (N1.4 billion) or nothing before they’ll step away.
Further more, Kelechi Iheanacho has been left in the cold after Stellar group alleged that it was the player who approached them and not the other way round.
It is believed Kelechi Iheanacho pocketed £100,000 as compensation from Stellar group to work against First Eleven management.
This sums up the fact that Kelechi Iheanacho has no one to blame if the controversies that has seen many interested clubs abandon the chase for his services for less troubling ventures. This could hinder the Nigerian from moving away from Manchester City in pursuit of regular play time ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
We can only hope Iheanacho and his representatives quickly resolve the matter as time is running out fast ahead of the new season that kicks off in less than two weeks.