“Talks were held between Mikel and the manager. As for now, he has been told he can leave in January, mind you his contract is set to expire in the summer.
“There’s every possibility for him to leave Chelsea either on loan or permanently in January. But the summer looks more likely. Every story must have an end. After 11 seasons, Mikel wants to move on and so too Chelsea.”
Meanwhile, Conte has explained why he named Nigerian defender, Ola Aina and England U21 star, Nathaniel Chalobah, in the starting XI against West Ham in the League Cup on Wednesday night.
Despite the 2-1 loss to the Hammers, the Italian manager reckons that his number 34 gave a good account of himself, adding that he wanted to run the rule over the wing-back in a competitive fixture.
Speaking at chelseafc.com., he said:
“I prefer to speak always about the whole team but I think this cup is very important to check the development of these young players.
“We have good young players and they need to play. I think the youngsters played a good game with the right intensity and concentration.
“When you lose it’s normal to see bad things but tonight I found a lot of positives.”
Ola Aina started Chelsea’s 3-2 win over Bristol Rovers in August and was a non-playing substitute versus Leicester City in the League Cup last month.