Barcelona are believed to be keeping a firm eye on rising Manchester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho.
According to reports, Barcelona, who missed out on signing Iheanacho for nothing after he helped Nigeria win the UAE 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, where he also won the Golden Ball, have decided to renew their interest in the 20-year-old following his performances for his Premier League club and the Super Eagles.
The Spanish giants, who arguably boast the best attackers in world football in Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, believe playing with the superstars in the same team could help Iheanacho fulfil his full potential.
According to sportinastorm.com on Wednesday, Barcelona are encouraged to revive their interest in the attacker because they believe he could be unhappy at being pushed further down the pecking order at Etihad Stadium following the imminent arrival of the talented Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus from Palmeiras. Sergio Aguero and Nolito are ahead of Iheanacho in the striking pecking order.
Man City paid a fee of £27m for the 19-year-old Jesus, who has six caps for Brazil. The Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist will join the Citizens in January.
And manager Pep Guardiola warned that Iheanacho’s chances of first team football this season could be limited.
The Nigerian, who in August signed a two-year contract extension – keeping him at the club until 2021, has started just three Premier League games scoring three league goals this season.
“Of course he (Iheanacho) deserves to play, but there are many others who deserve to play too,” Manchester Evening News quoted Guardiola as saying on Wednesday.
“Our job is so uncomfortable for these kind of decisions.
“Normally when these guys don’t train good, when they are not nice guys with their team-mates, it doesn’t matter, but that is not the case with Kele.”
Guardiola added, “My advice is keep going, keep fighting, sooner or later everything is coming back, and of course he’s going to have his minutes. Until now he played good, but in the big teams sometimes that happens.You can play just 11 players and that’s all,”
Meanwhile, Belgian club Genk have rejected Leicester City’s £16m bid for versatile Nigeria defender Wilfred Ndidi, insisting on £20m, according to reports.
Leicester, who have been struggling in the Premier League since N’Golo Kante moved to Chelsea during the summer transfer window, view 19-year-old Ndidi as a capable replacement for the Frenchman.