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Kelechi Iheanacho set for Champions League next season even if Man City miss out on top four

The Nigerian striker has barely featured under Pep Guardiola in 2017 despite being rated highly

It’s been a strange old season for Kelechi Iheanacho.

The Nigerian striker was being heralded as, alongside Marcus Rashford, the new darling of Manchester after bursting onto the scene in 2015/16.

Iheanacho has scored seven times for City this season

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Iheanacho has scored seven times for City this season

And with Sergio Aguero’s constant injury niggles he was seeing regular game time this term too under Pep Guardiola, who spoke extremely highly of him.

But Iheanacho has made just seven appearances – mostly from the bench – since mid-January after Gabriel Jesus’ arrival and subsequent explosive start to his City career.

Rumours have circulated of a potential move to Germany in recent days, particularly as a makeweight in a deal to lure Borussia Dortmund hitman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the Etihad Stadium.

The Nigerian striker has fallen down the pecking order after Gabriel Jesus’ arrival

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The Nigerian striker has fallen down the pecking order after Gabriel Jesus’ arrival

But now it appears Hoffenheim are the front runners for the 20-year-old’s signature, according to reports in Nigeria.

OwnGoal Nigeria believe the German side have been granted permission to speak with Iheanacho with a view to a summer move.

Hoffenheim guaranteed Champions League football next season two weeks ago after an incredible campaign in the Bundesliga.

Julian Nagelsmann has taken Hoffenheim to the Champions League

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Julian Nagelsmann has taken Hoffenheim to the Champions League

They currently sit a point ahead of fourth-placed Borussia Dortmund and 12 ahead of fifth-placed Hertha Berlin, with the top four all qualifying for Europe’s primary competition next season.

Their achievements have captured the hearts and imagination of neutrals across Europe, particularly after the job 29-year-old manager Julian Nagelsmann has overseen.

So will Iheanacho play Champions League football next season even if City, who are just a point ahead of Manchester United, miss out on a top-four spot?