Kelechi Nwakali

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says it is working hard to secure the visa that will enable stranded U-23 Eagles midfielder Kelechi Nwakali to return to Portugal.

Nwakali, 20, who is on loan at FC Porto’s B team from Arsenal is unable to leave Nigeria almost a month after playing in a qualifier for the 2020 Olympic men’s football tournament.

Officials confirmed that Nwakali was in Portugal on a single-entry visa and so now needs a renewal to return after he played on 25 March. However, the process is taking longer than they anticipated.

“The federation has been working hard to get his visa sorted as quickly as possible, but it’s taken longer than expected,” NFF’s director of communications Ademola Olajire told BBC Sport.

“We hope it will come out after the Easter break to enable Nwakali return to Portugal.”

Nwakali has made 16 appearances this season for Porto’s reserve side, who play in the second tier of Portuguese football league, but has now missed the club’s last four matches.

A 2015 FIFA under-17 World Cup and Golden boot winner, Nwakali was snapped up by Arsenal in August 2016 as the Gunners beat a string of Europe’s leading sides, including Manchester City, German, Dutch and Spanish clubs to his signing.

He spent time on loan at Dutch clubs VVV-Venlo and MVV Maastricht.

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