Report: NYCFC target Manchester City youth player Kelechi Iheanacho

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU, EMPIRE OF SOCCER

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU, EMPIRE OF SOCCER

New York City F.C. are bound to take on a handful of Manchester City youth players in their inaugural season. Is Kelechi Iheanacho one of them?

According to AfricanFootball.com, sources close to “a top Manchester City official” say the U-20 Nigerian international is an NYCFC loan target.

“Kelechi’s profile has shot up since what he achieved in pre-season in the United States of America,” African Football reports. “As a result of this, many other clubs are keen to have him and Manchester City are expected to soon decide where he will go to on loan.

While NYCFC are a leading candidate, several other teams are in the running for his services — including an option in Belgium.

Iheanacho, 17, will turn 18 in October. He was the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup MVP while representing Nigeria, earning the Silver Boot as the second highest goalscorer and the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament. He was awarded the CAF Most Promising Talent of the Year award for his accomplishments and is considered one of the next great emerging African talents.

Iheanacho has also scored three times during City’s tour of the United States, raising his domestic profile. That success has forced City to keep him with the club despite being called up by his country for the coming AYC qualifier against Lesotho.

“Kelechi was to have been released by Manchester City at least a week before the match, but the club’s recruitment officer has called us back to say they have plans for him and so he will no longer be available,” Flying Eagles coach Manu Garba told AfricanFootball.com

This is the second Manchester City youth player connected to NYCFC in recent months. Fellow Right to Dream Academy product Godsway Donoh has also drawn MLS interest.