English Premier League champions Manchester City have applied for a work permit for Nigeria youngster Kelechi Iheanacho.
Iheanacho has yet to be capped at full international level by Nigeria but he has been capped by his country at U17 and U-20 levels and City are most likely to use the special talent argument to get the Home office to grant Iheanacho the right to ply his trade in the UK.
It was the same argument that helped Chelsea to give Mikel Obi a contract in 2006 even when by then he was not an established Nigeria international.
“City have applied for a work permit for Kelechi this week,” one of the player’s representatives informed AfricanFootball.com.
“We believe he will be granted the chance to play in England.”
Iheanacho was the MVP of last year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup, which Nigeria won in fine style with the forward finishing also as the second leading scorer of the tournament.
Last week, he was called up by Nigeria U-23 team with coach Samson Siasia admitting he is a big fan.
He equally shone during City’s pre-season training tour of the United States of America, scoring a couple of goals with class and composure.
Iheanacho turned 18 recently and has been training with Major League Soccer (MLS) side Colombus Crew.
Earlier this year, City said they may loan out the starlet when he is 18 and can sign a pro deal, but recent reports suggest they may keep him at the Etihad Stadium.