Chelsea midfielder and Nigeria’s senior team captain, John Mikel Obi may soon be heading for China as he has been linked with two Chinese clubs, as well as clubs in Europe, as he is yet to enter talks with Chelsea over a new deal.
The Nigeria captain’s contract is due to expire in June 2017 and he is free to talk with clubs in January, as is normal for players with only six months remaining on their contracts.
The 29-year-old could follow Oscar, who is set to break the transfer fee record for a player leaving Chelsea, after Shanghai SIPG offered around £52 million to secure the playmaker from West London ahead of the January window.
Marseille and two clubs in China are among those who have made contact with Mikel, who’s yet to make a single appearance in the matchday squad for Chelsea since Antonio Conte took charge at Stamford Bridge.
Fenerbahce has also added him to their shortlist, while Manchester United have been linked with Mikel, who hasn’t played for Chelsea since he travelled to Anfield to face Liverpool under Guus Hiddink last season.
Mikel is thought to want to make the move that best suits his family and had previously spoken about an interest in playing football in the United States.
Conte insists that Mikel is available and could yet play for Chelsea, while Mikel remains open to renewing his contract if he gets certain assurances.
Super Eagles coach, Rohr had explained that Mikel’s failure to play competitively for Chelsea so far this season is because the club’s manager, Antonio Conte, was punishing him (Mikel) for representing Nigeria at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Mikel Obi has however disputed the claims, saying he got Conte’s approval to participate in the Olympics.