Kelechi Nwakali will not formally complete his move to Arsenal until later this month at the earliest, according to the player's agent. The 18-year-old had seemingly confirmed his transfer to the Premier League side from the Diamond Football Academy on social media in June, but the North London club are yet to announce the signing.
Nwakali met with Gunners boss Arsene Wenger last month, and though he claims to have agreed a five-year contract, his representative has indicated details are still to be ironed out. The midfielder's participation in Nigeria's Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations play-off against Sudan means he will not conclude talks until later in July.
"Any moment from now we will go to Arsenal, they can't allow him go now because of the narrow victory in the first leg against Sudan," agent and brother Allwell Nwakali told allnigeriasoccer.com. "We can't betray the coach [Emmanuel Amuneke because he has helped us in the past."
International colleague Samuel Chukwueze was also set to accompany Nwakali in joining Arsenal this summer, but completion of his move is also being delayed by Nigeria's AFCON play-off, the second leg of which is played on 24 July. Wenger claimed in January that the club were confident of securing the deal, but Diamond Football Academy president Martin Agupo says FC Porto now lead the race.
"Chukwueze is going to FC Porto not Monaco. They are waiting for him to sign the papers but he couldn't travel because he is with the Flying Eagles," he told allnigeriasoccer.com. "We don't know the length of contract he will sign until we get to Portugal."
Arsenal have made two signings this summer in the form of Switzerland international Granit Xhaka and Japanese youngster Takuma Asano. Neither player has begun training with their new club however, with Xhaka continuing to recover from the European Championships while Asano is busy preparing to play for Japan in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.