Nigerian youngster Kelechi Nwakali has said he has signed a five-year contract to join Arsenal after visiting London earlier this year.
Nwakali, 17, and fellow Nigerian youth international Samuel Chukwueze were pictured alongside Arsene Wenger, club chief executive Ivan Gazidis and former Arsenal striker Nwankwo Kanu in January, with the manager revealing that only work permit issues were delaying their signing.
As Standard Sport reported during the transfer window Arsenal were joined in the hunt for Fifa Under-17 World Cup Golden Boot winner Nwakali by a string of Europe’s leading sides, including Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Manchester City.
However Nwakali, who covets the No.25 shirt once worn by compatriot Kanu, has revealed that he only ever had eyes for a move to the Emirates.
“I just came back from London, I have signed a five-year contract with Arsenal,” he told All Nigeria Soccer.
“So many teams were interested in me but it has been my dream at a tender age to play for Arsenal.”
Despite Nwakali’s claims to have signed a deal at the Emirates his transfer remains far from complete, with the FA having recently tightened up their regulations on work permits. These would necessitate the midfielder to have appeared in 75 per cent of Nigeria’s international matches over the past 12 months.
Nwakali may be unable to formally sign for Arsenal until his 18th birthday on June 5 due to Fifa regulations over the transfer of minors.
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