Nigerian youngster Kelechi Iheanacho could miss the Rio 2016 Olympics to prove his worth to new Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola but he is hopeful the situation will be resolved.
Iheanacho, 19, who scored 14 goals in all competitions for City last season, was included in the U-23 Eagles’ 35-man provisional squad for the Games last month, along with fellow Premier League players such as Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Mikel Obi.
However, with the tournament beginning on August 3, Iheanacho would miss City’s pre-season preparations in Asia and the first few weeks of new boss Guardiola’s reign were he to head to Rio with his international colleagues.
It has been reported that City have blocked his participation at the Games, and Iheanacho intends to do as the club wish.
Iheanacho, speaking at a Manchester City fan event on Sunday, said he is not in a position to decide whether he will be at the Olympics.
“It’s up to the club and country to decide what is going to happen,” he said.
“If your country wants you to play, you really want to go and play as well. (But) It’s not my intention to decide.”
On the appointment of Guardiola, Iheanacho said he is looking forward to working with the former Bayern Munich coach, expressing confidence that the Spaniard will bring success to Manchester City.
“He’s a great manager and he’s done a lot for other clubs in previous seasons.
“He’s going to do the same for our team.
“I’m looking forward to working with him and he’s used young players in different teams so I don’t think Manchester City will be an exception.
“I think he’s going to do the same here and I can’t wait to work with him. It was great working with a great manager last season and it was great to be brought through to the first team.
“This season I will have to work even harder to get my chance to play again.”