Manager Arsène Wenger is confident that Arsenal will complete the signings of the Nigeria youth internationals Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze before the transfer deadline, Monday.
This is just as the manager hinted he would make no new senior additions to supplement the purchase of Egyptian, Mohamed Elneny as the club’s injury situation had improved significantly.
Nwakali, an attacking midfielder, was the player of the Under-17 World Cup in Chile last year, which Nigeria won, and at which his team-mate Chukwueze, a winger, also impressed. They are part of the locally-based Diamond Football Academy.
“The talks are progressing well,” Wenger said. “Do I expect them to be done this month? Yes. Of course, there are work permit issues and medical issues, because they have to take medicals. But it is progressing well.
“We identified Nwakali as the player of the tournament, basically, and as a top player. We will see if we can manage to get it over the line during this transfer period. [If we can], we will do it. Chukwueze is [signing] as well.”
On his part, Nwakali who was spotted at the Muritala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja on his way to London to sign the deal said: ‘I am going to Arsenal to work and try to be the best I can. With God anything is possible, to work hard to justify my claim for first team football.’
Meanwhile, German club Wolfsburg have agreed a deal to sign young Nigerian U-17 striker Victor Osimhen on 1 January 2017.Under FIFA regulations Osimhen cannot sign a professional contract until he turns 18, on 29 December.
The proposed transfer follows a co-operation agreement between Wolfsburg and Lagos-based Ultimate Strikers Academy, where Osimhen is based.
Osimhen starred at the under-17 World Cup in October, scoring 10 goals to help Nigeria win a record fifth title.
Under the co-operation agreement between the clubs, Osimhen has visited Wolfsburg and will train with the club as their guest.
Other players from the academy will be given a similar opportunity.
Wolfsburg’s Director of Sport Klaus Allofs told the club’s website: “For talented youngsters such as Victor Osimhen, it is a major advantage to combine the games at home with the academy team, with knowledge of youth training and operational processes in European professional football.”
Osimhen was also part of the Nigeria side that won the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal in November, which also qualified them for the Rio Olympics next year.
He was named the 2015 Confederation of African Football Youth Player of the Year at the award ceremony in Abuja on 7 January.