Arsenal are trying to block Nigeria from calling up Alex Iwobi their under-23 side for the Rio Olympic football tournament, according to coach Samson Siasia.
The competition begins starts on 3 August and lasts for nearly three weeks meaning the midfielder would miss the tail-end of pre-season training and the start of the 2016/17 campaign.
Siasia claims he’s spoken to Dick Law about the situation and learned that Iwobi, who has previously spoken positively about partaking, now has concerns about the call-up given he could lose momentum in his quest to consolidate his first-team credentials.
“I went to Arsenal and I saw Richard Law and he said that we still need to look at [the possibilities of the player going to the Olympics or not],” Siasia told Nigerian publication Today.
“He said that he wants Iwobi to stay with Arsenal because they are having a new team and Alex is getting to play in the team for now.
“He said if he leaves to play for Nigeria at the Olympics, how is he going to be a part of the team and maybe someone is going to take his position.
“I said, well we have to meet half way because we are trying to give Alex a platform to show himself in the Olympics and he has to look at it that way too.
“He said we should continue to talk and we would see what we would do.”
Arsene Wenger has previously said that if Iwobi is called upon he’ll respect the decision and allow the player to head to Brazil.
In the meantime, the 20-year-old has been included in the senior squad for a friendly , to be played in France, against Mali on 27 May.