Saturday, 24 December 2016


John Obi Mikel’s agent has confirmed that the Nigeria international is “very likely” to leave Chelsea in January after spending the first half of the season on the sidelines.
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has not selected Mikel in a single match day squad this season, and back in September the 29-year-old said that he will talk to interested clubs in January, when he enters the final six months of his current contract.
Mikel is not expected to be offered an extension by Chelsea, and the player’s agent, John Shittu, says the odds are against his client completing the season at Stamford Bridge.
“It’s very likely [Mikel] will leave Chelsea in January,” Shittu told The Sun. “There are many teams interested in the player.
“In the past we spoke with Inter Milan but now there are a lot of Italian clubs that want him. I will not reveal the names, but there are other Italians teams on his trail.
“And beware: even clubs in the UK, Spain, Germany and even in China know the value of the player and requested information about him.”
Mikel is Chelsea’s longest-serving player behind John Terry, having made 376 appearances in all competitions for the Blues since arriving in a controversial transfer from Lyn Oslo in June 2006.
Shittu has said that Mikel does not hold his lack of first-team minutes this season against Conte, and says that his client’s next career move will not be financially driven.
“John does not have problems with his manager,” he added. “They have a normal and professional relationship.
“The salary [in his next contract] will be important, commensurate with his value, but the most important thing will be the football project.
“If everything was based only on the money he would probably go to play in China. But I repeat: he can choose from many clubs, so the project will be crucial in his decision.”

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