West Ham United have reportedly joined English Premier League rivals Manchester City in the race for Nigeria’s Under-17 international, Kelechi Nwakali.
The Golden Eaglets star showcased his talent at the 2015 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations, scoring three goals, which helped Nigeria qualify for semi-finals of the competition and the ongoing FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile.
West Ham scouts were aware that Manchester City were a major contender for the signature of Nwakali and invited the midfielder and his intermediary, Klay Ekeocha, to London after the tournament in Niger Republic in their bid to see off interest from The Citizens.
The Hammers had wanted Nwakali to take a look at the club’s facilities prior to penning a preliminary contract, which will become activated when he clocks 18 next summer, but national team duties with the Golden Eaglets prevented him from honouring the invitation.
As it is, it is right to say the Londoners have overtaken Manchester City in the scramble for the highly rated teenager but a deal is far from being reached due to red tape, or to put it another way, the work permit requirements recently introduced for the Premier League.
The transfer fee being discussed with West Ham is in the region of four million pounds, sources revealed.