Scottish champions Celtic blocked a move by Nigeria to include Efe Ambrose in the U-23 Eagles' squad as one of the three over-age players to the Rio Olympics, it has been revealed.
Last week, coach Samson Siasia released a 35-man provisional list that included the likes of Mikel Obi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Odion Ighalo and Alex Iwobi, but Ambrose was left out.
According to dailymail.co.uk, Brendan Rodgers blocked Ambrose's invitation to the Nigeria Olympic squad bevause Celtic are wrestling with injury problems in central defence, with Croatian Jozo Simunovic and Dedryck Boyata likely to miss the start of the Scottish Premiership season.
Siasia had planned to include Ambrose in the team that will travel to the United States of America for a training camp.
The U-23 Eagles play Japan in their first Group B fixture on August 4 – just 48 hours before Celtic begin their league campaign against Hearts at Tynecastle.
With no FIFA regulations forcing clubs to release players for the Rio games, however, Celtic told the 27-year-old he is needed at home for the opening weeks of the new campaign.
Meanwhile, Ambrose flew to Slovenia with the Celtic squad on Monday for a 10-day pre-season camp ahead of the new season.
It is gathered that the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winning defender's long-term Parkhead future is less clear as Rodgers is already assessing defensive reinforcements, with Liverpool's Andre Wisdom and veteran defender Kolo Toure linked.Jiji.ng the cheapest online shopping in Nigeria