Iheanacho in mucho legal jeopardy

August 1, 2017

Kelechi Iheanacho, centre, with Henry Galeano, left, and Robert Zanicky, right

Kelechi Iheanacho, centre, with Henry Galeano, left, and Robert Zanicky, right

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. 

Kelechi Iheanacho with Henry Galeano in summer 2014

Kelechi Iheanacho with Henry Galeano in summer 2014

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.

Kelechi Iheanacho with Henry Galeano and Robert Zanicky

Kelechi Iheanacho with Henry Galeano and Robert Zanicky

Kelechi Iheanacho with Henry Galeano and Robert Zanicky at the Under-20s World Cup in 2015

Kelechi Iheanacho with Henry Galeano and Robert Zanicky at the Under-20s World Cup in 2015

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.

Kelechi Iheanacho in action for Manchester City

Kelechi Iheanacho in action for Manchester City

Kelechi Iheanacho is in line for a move to Leicester

Kelechi Iheanacho is in line for a move to Leicester

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.

SOURCE: thesun.co.uk


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