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18 Jul 2017

Germans intensify Ujah chase, City drop Iheanacho

Anthony Ujah
German  Bundesliga newcomers   Hannover 96 have stepped up their pursuit of out-of-favour Nigeria forward Anthony Ujah who is reportedly eager to ditch his relegation-bound Chinese Super League outfit Liaoning Whowin this summer.

Hannover manager Andre  Breitenreiter, who   is scouring  the  transfer market for a   proven goalscorer to ensure  the Reds  retain their top-flight status  at the end of the season,  has  set Ujah  out as a key transfer target.

The 26-year-old, who joined  Liaoning  from  Bundesliga side Werder Bremen on July 5,  2016   on a four-year deal worth around  €13m, wants a fresh start and   has  reportedly agreed  terms with Hannover to return to Germany where he made a name for himself between 2012 and 2016.

Ujah scored 14 goals in 35 games for Cologne while on a season’s loan (2014-15) at RheinEnergieStadion from Mainz 05, before  scoring 11 goals in 32 Bundesliga games  to help Werder  avoid relegation last year, after joining them on May 25, 2015.

The former Warri Wolves frontman has hit the back of the net  just five times  for  Liaoning in 14  league appearances this term.

With the North-Eastern Chinese side just two points above the league’s relegation zone, Ujah, who reportedly signed a  €5.6m-a year-deal with  the Tigers,  doesn’t want to play in the second-tier of the Chinese football and is looking to dump Liaoning.

Reports in the  German media on Monday said Hannover boss Breiterreiter had redoubled his efforts to push Ujah’s deal over the line – and had exerted pressure on Liaoning to release the Nigerian.

The Reds’ sporting director Horst Heldt, who expressed his confidence that Ujah will move to the HDI-Arena this summer, told the influential German  sports magazine Kicker that the club would win the battle.

“The  manager is still working intensively on the transfer. Let’s see if it works, we need patience,” the former Stuttgart midfielder was quoted as saying by Kicker.

Meanwhile, Manchester City star Kelechi Iheanacho was omitted from  the squad who travelled to the  United States on Monday  for their pre-season tour.

The Citizens manager Pep Guardiola surprisingly  including Samir Nasri, Eliaquim Mangala, Gael Clichy and Jason Denayer, who  have been declared surplus to requirements, shunning Nigeria striker Iheanacho and Ivory Coast forward Wilfried Bony.

His omission from the pre-season  tour may have confirmed that Iheanacho will  leave the Etihad Stadium this summer.

The 20-year-old fell out of favour under Guardiola during the second half of last season, following  the arrival of rising  star Gabriel  Jesus.

Iheanacho has been linked with a £25m to  Leicester City, while Bundesliga clubs  Borussia Dortmund and Hoffenheim are also said to be interested in the UAE FIFA Under-17 World Cup Golden Ball winner.

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