Abuja - Super Eagles head coach Stephen Keshi on Monday authorised the departure from camp of Golden Eaglets’ forward Kelechi Iheanacho for contract talks with English club side Manchester City FC in England.
The Super Eagles’ media officer, Ben Alaiya, disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Iheanacho and two other members of the 2013 Golden Eaglets had been part of the Super Eagles team camping in Abuja.
The 30-man Eagles’ squad had been camping in preparation for the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) scheduled for South Africa from January 11 to February 1.
``Keshi had to allow the player to depart for Manchester after his father, James Iheanacho, personally put a call to him on Monday afternoon requesting the release of his son for the trip to England," the statement said.
It said Keshi had initially rebuffed efforts by someone claiming to be the player’s agent.
"Initially, a young man came, declaring that he was the agent of Iheanacho. But I declined to deal with him until I hear from the family, because the boy is still a minor.
"It was soon after my rejection that I got a call from his father who told me that they have got a travel visa to the UK and that I should oblige him with his son’s release.
"I did and told the young man (Kelechi) to go and do the nation proud at whichever club he finally chooses to settle down with,’’ the statement quoted Keshi as saying.
It said while Keshi acknowledged that Iheanacho was a talented player, he had also cautioned that the player ``should be handled gently and professionally as he navigates his professional career."
NAN reports that Manchester City are in the English Premier League (EPL) which they won in 2011/2012.
The CHAN event is for players based on the African continent, and a move to England will automatically rule Iheanacho out of the home-based Super Eagles.