Iheanacho is facing problems in the US after allegations were made against him that he may have misled a court in Pennsylvania
MANCHESTER CITY striker Kelechi Iheanacho is facing problems in the US after allegations were made against him that he may have misled a court in Pennsylvania.
Iheanacho, 20, is embroiled in legal battles with his previous representatives, American-based First Eleven Management, after pulling out of a contract with them two years ago to sign with Stellar, who look after Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.
Iheanacho filed pleadings that denied he knew or spent time with Henry Galeano, who separately claims he is his former agent.
The Nigerian — who is hoping to move to Leicester this week — claimed he believed Galeano was an alias used by First Eleven Management co-owner Robert Zanicky.
New Yorker Galeano was the company’s registered Fifa-licensed agent.
SunSport and the American court have been handed a series of photos and documents that will require an explanation from the Nigerian international.
The crucial legal question for Iheanacho will be whether he did more than merely meet Galeano or happened to be with him on occasions. It certainly seems clear they at least met.
Galeano is pictured by his side as he signed a new Manchester City contract shortly after his 18th birthday in October 2014.
SunSport have obtained photographs of Iheanacho with Galeano:
- In Minneapolis during Manchester City’s 2014 pre-season tour.
- In Columbus while training with MLS club Columbus Crew that same year.
- In New Zealand in 2015 while representing Nigeria at the Under-20 World Cup.
- At the Etihad Stadium while signing a new contract with Manchester City after he turned 18.
Other photos show Iheanacho seemingly having fun with Galeano and Zanicky in a restaurant as well as at a theme park.
The legal position is further complicated because Galeano — in a signed and sworn affidavit submitted to the court — claims he spent “hundreds of hours” with the player.
Under Pennsylvania Law, if it is found Iheanacho knowingly tried to mislead the court, he could be charged with unsworn falsification — which, if found guilty, carries a penalty of up to two years in prison.
And with an impending £25million move to Leicester on the cards, his new club will want assurances that his case in the US is being properly handled and will not become a ticking time-bomb.
In his court affidavit, Galeano said: “For the avoidance of doubt, Iheanacho and I have spent hundreds of hours together.”
He also added: “Robert Zanicky never used my name as an alias.”
Galeano claims he became Iheanacho’s official Fifa-licensed agent in July 2013 after both men signed a Representative Agreement.
Leicester are hoping to wrap up a deal for the forward — who has been told by boss Pep Guardiola he can leave City — but have been bogged down over the player’s image rights and personal terms.
First Eleven Management claim they currently own his rights under the company name ‘Team Kelechi LLC’ and have alerted Leicester City. The Foxes place substantial value on Kelechi’s image rights.
But under the terms of his current image rights agreement with Team Kelechi, the player picks up 50 per cent of image payments, 25 per cent gets shared with his two brothers and one sister — and the remaining share is paid to Team Kelechi LLC.
First Eleven Management are likely to want Team Kelechi LLC to keep hold of his image rights and license them out.
SunSport have contacted Kelechi’s representatives Stellar Management Group for comment.