Arsenal and Manchester City are battling it out to sign two members of the Nigerian squad who won the Under-17 World Cup.
Kelechi Nwakali, 17 and Samuel Chukwueze, 16, who play for Diamond Football Academy in Umuahia, southeastern Nigeria have been scouted by several of Europe’s leading clubs after both scored three goals at the World Cup in Chile in November. The playmaker Nwakali was named as the tournament’s most valuable player, while Everton have been linked with the winger Chukwueze.
Reports have stated Arsenal are the favourites to sign both players for a combined £3m but according to Diamond Football Academy’s general manager, Prince Apugo, they have yet to reach a decision over their futures.
“Samuel is like my son, I am his legal guardian and I have been taking good care of him for many years now. Likewise Kelechi, so naturally I would want the best for them,” Apugo told News24.
“Both players have great potentials and we cannot afford to let money becloud our judgment in choosing a club for them. Our priority is their development and we are determined to ensure this is put into consideration before we accept any offers for them. Already we are deep in discussions and have gone very far with a big club with a rich history of encouraging young players and giving them chances.
“At the fullness of time, when the deal is sealed the whole world will know and agree with us that we made the best choice for the players.”
Bayern Munich and Belgian club Standard Liège are understood to also be interested in signing the duo, who are represented by Gareth Bale’s agents, the Stellar Group.