Arsene Wenger has confirmed Arsenal are on the brink of signing Nigeria Under-17 internationals Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze. Nwakali, 17, captained Nigeria to their second consecutive Under-17 World Cup triumph in Chile in November 2915, a competition in which he won the Golden Ball – the tournament's award for best player.
According to the playmaker's agent, Klay Ekeocha, Chelsea were also in the race for his signature. Serie A side Udinese also made a firm offer for the player.
Nwakali was quoted by the Nigerian press confirming he was on his way to the Gunners this week. When quizzed on the club's pursuit of the teenagers, Wenger told a press conference ahead of the club's FA Cup fourth round clash with Burnley: "They are progressing well. I expect them to be done this month.
"There are of course work permit issues, medical issues, but it is progressing well. We identified him [Nwakali] after he won player of the tournament [at the under-17 World Cup], he is a top player, we will see if we can manage to get it over the line."
Nwakali told the Nigerian Tribune on 28 January: "I am going to Arsenal to work and try to be the best I can, and with God anything is possible, to work hard to justify my claim for first team football."
Nwakali and 16-year-old Chukwueze, also a midfielder, will join Mohamed Elneny as Arsenal's three January signings, with Wenger suggesting the club are not looking to do any more business during the winter window.
"We are not looking to do business, we have 23 players in training plus two more to come," Wenger added. "Unless people go out we are not on verge of people coming in."