Iheanacho finally picks Man City over Rio 2016 Olympics
Kelechi Iheanacho has turned down his chance of an Olympic medal in order to focus on forcing his way into Pep Guardiola ‘s Manchester City team.
The 19-year-old striker was invited to join the Nigeria squad for the Rio games, with the football tournament starting in August. But City were under no obligation to release him, and with Guardiola taking the reins on July 1, he asked that every available player should take part in pre-season.
With players, who progress in Euro 2016 and the Copa America already due to arrive back late, the Blues are keen to have as much as possible of their squad fully fit.
City are understood to have spoken extensively with Iheanacho, who is on holiday in Nigeria.
He wanted to represent his country, but is said to have fully understood the need to show Guardiola what he can do.
With new players due to join the squad – Nolito and Leroy Sane remain strong possibilities – Iheanacho recognised the importance of being in the squad from the start.
The Olympic tournament, which is for Under-23 players, starts on August 3, which would mean Iheanacho missing a big chunk of pre-season as well as the summer tour of China.