Say what you like about Manchester City taking over Girona and guiding them to La Liga for the first time by loaning their top young players to Spain, it certainly has its advantages for the Catalan minnows.
According to The Mail, City signed Nigerian international striker Olarenwaju Kayode from Austria Vienna for £3.5 million this summer before loaning him to Girona. The 24-year-old arrived at a fee far higher than most La Liga clubs would be able to pay and, after a year in Spain, could get the work permit required to play in England.
Whether Kayode will ever get the chance to play for City’s first-team, or whether he was instead bought on Girona’s behalf in order to keep them in the Spanish top flight, is open for debate. Either way, it is good for 'business'.
What cannot be disputed is that, after scoring 17 goals in 33 games for Vienna last season, Kayode is a talented striker who could have made the grade at a number of Premier League clubs, if not a City side with Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus in their ranks.
Own Goal Nigeria reported that Kayode was on the verge of signing for Newcastle United until an eleventh hour phone call from Pep Guardiola allowed City to hijack the deal – reports the striker has seemingly confirmed.
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”A lot of teams in Europe approached me after the last season – Alaves, Malaga, CSKA Moscow, Spartak Moscow and Newcastle,” Kayode told Goal. ”I did not know how to digest it and I had a hard time deciding, until the offer came from Manchester City.
“They came to see me in Austria and told me that they believed in me very much, so I went for medical tests in England, where I met Pep Guardiola, the coach.
“When I saw the papers that Manchester City approached me, I was really excited and did not believe it.
“He (Guardiola) told me that I had a great talent and he was following me for a long period of time, and Pep stressed that I was a good player for him and I should join City”.
Newcastle were left concerned by their inability to sign a striker this summer and the fact that City nabbed Kayode from under their nose before farming him out to a feeder club will not ease Rafael Benitez’s frustrations.