Manchester City will not allow highly-rated forward Kelechi Iheanacho to move to any of their direct rivals, ruling out a possible transfer to Tottenham Hotspur, but could sign for Everton, according to the player’s agent.
Having enjoyed an impressive breakthrough season last campaign, in which the 20-year-old scored eight goals in his 26 Premier League appearances, the Nigeria international was expected to kick on under new manager Pep Guardiola.
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However, the brilliance of star forward Sergio Aguero, coupled with the stunning impact made by January arrival Gabriel Jesus, has seen Iheanacho struggle for game-time.
The African has found the back of the net on just four occasions, with his last league goal coming back in December.
Everton boss Ronald Koeman, who could lose star striker Romelu Lukaku in the summer, has been linked with a move for the Nigerian, whilst West Ham United are also believed to be monitoring the situation.
Whilst City could be open to negotiating with the pair, they are unlikely to sanction a move to rivals Tottenham, who are also rumoured to be keen on signing the forward, as they look to bring in competition for England international Harry Kane.
“It’s clear he won’t be sold to a direct title rival by Man City,” Iheanacho’s agent told Owngoalnigeria.com.
“So when I see the reported interest from Spurs, I know if it becomes official it will be dismissed outrightly, but Everton and West Ham we will have to wait and see.”
Tottenham have enjoyed another positive season under manager Mauricio Pochettino, challenging eventual champions Chelsea for the Premier League title before eventually securing second spot and automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League group stage.
However, the Spurs boss will be looking to strengthen his squad during the summer and mount another title challenge, as well as improving on last season’s disappointing campaign in Europe’s elite club competition.
Everton are also in the market for attacking reinforcements and could well use the agent’s comments as another reason to move for Iheanacho.
Koeman will surely bring in at least one forward to Goodison Park, even if Lukaku stays, and the City star would be a shrewd acquisition.