Dons boss McInnes confident he will have Chidi Nwakali available for Scottish Cup tie

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes (R) with new signing Chidi Nwakali.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes (R) with new signing Chidi Nwakali.

ABERDEEN boss Derek McInnes today insisted he is confident the loan deal for Manchester City midfielder Chidi Nwakali will be finalised in time for him to face St Mirren in the Scottish Cup.

The Dons have agreed a loan deal with Premiership leaders Manchester City to take Nigerian World Cup 2018 hopeful Nwakali on loan until the end of the season.

However the Reds still have to push through a work permit for the Nigerian midfielder who was on loan at Sogndal in Norway until two months ago.

Nwakali is out in Dubai with the Dons at their warm weather training camp

McInnes said: “We are hopeful that we can get Chidi available for the St Mirren game in the cup because that was the intention when we signed him.

“That is what we are working towards.

“We are keen to get him working with us but these things aren’t always easy.

“Although there is still a bit of mileage to go in that over the next few days we are very confident the process will go in our favour.”

Any player who is over 16 and  not from the European Economic Area requires a work permit to play for a British club unless he has featured in at least 75% of his countries competitive international games over the last two years.

A World Cup winner at U17 level Nwakali was called into the Nigerian squad for recent friendlies against  Argentina and Algeria but has yet to be capped at senior level.

A three man appeals panel will now weigh up whether Nwakali would contribute significantly to the development of the game at the top level in Scotland.

If they give the go ahead Aberdeen can then secure the needed work permit which the club are confident will be completed before the January 20 fourth round tie against the Buddies at Pittodrie.

“Chidi has trained with the players and has fitted in very well,” said McInnes at their Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence based camp.

“We can all see how good a player he is.”

However Nwakali could be set to feature for the Dons tomorrow in the bounce match against Uzbekistan side Lokomotiv Tashkent as it is not deemed an official game.