Manchester City forward and potentially soon-to-be Leicester City player Kelechi Iheanacho is facing a legal battle in the United States after allegations that the Nigerian international misled a court in Pennsylvania over his relationship with a former agent.
Iheanacho pulled out of a contract with American-based First Eleven Management in 2015 and, according to The Sun, denied knowing or spending time with a man named Henry Galeano, that company’s FIFA-licensed agent, when the player filed court pleadings to back out of a contract.
The newspaper’s report claims Iheanacho said he believed Galeano was an alias used by company co-owner Robert Zanicky. But the court has been supplied photographic evidence that Iheanacho knew and spent time in the company of both men on multiple occasions.
Galenao himself has apparently also submitted an affidavit claiming he spent ‘hundreds of hours’ with Iheanacho. Certainly, the picture evidence reported shows meetings in Columbus and Minneapolis during Manchester City’s 2014 summer tour, one in New Zealand during the 2015 Under-20 World Cup and in Manchester when he signed a contract with City at the age of 18.
Galeano claims to have become Iheanacho’s agent in 2013 after signing a ‘representative agreement’, and additionally claimed that Zanicky never used his name as an alias.
Iheanacho seemingly wanted to break his contract with Zanicky and Galeano’s First Eleven Management so he could instead sign with the Stellar agency instead.
The Sun’s report further explains there is the possibility that Iheanacho could be charged with ‘unsworn falsification’ if it is believed he knowingly tried to mislead the court. That can carry a potential punishment of up to two years in prison if found guilty.
It remains to be seen how this matter will now unfold and how it might affect the 20-year-old’s £25m move to Leicester, which has already been held up over image rights and personal terms.