Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel is once again being linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge but it wouldn’t be the first time.
Over the last few years, he has been linked with a move away from Chelsea almost every summer, and even when the Premier League club makes reinforcement in a position believed to be Mikel’s, the rumours start flying of him leaving and he has survived every single time.
It however seems to be different this time, and reports from England suggest that new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte isn’t exactly a huge fan and the signing of N’Golo Kante from Leicester City may now be the final nail on the coffin and in this case, the final seal to Mikel’s exit.
There are reports of interests from Turkish champions Besiktas, while another Turkish giants Galatasaray are also in the fray, with Inter Milan also believed to be interested.
For some reason over the last few years, the 29-year old had not been keen to leave the club he has been with for a decade.
Call it emotional attachment or whatever, but he had never appeared so keen to leave the club even when he doesn’t get to feature regularly and this much he said to fcnaija.com in an interview in March this year.
He said: “It is my home and I love the place,” he said of his continued stay at the club.
But for the first time perhaps, he wasn’t so sure or convinced he should stay on at the club. He sounded like someone who’s time was done and needed a fresh challenge.
When asked if he would stay on, he said: “I don’t know, 11 years is a long time.”
“I am very happy that I’ve done everything and won everything with the club and I’ve done everything that I have to do but if it happens (to stay on), it happens and it goes both ways, if I want to extend and if they (Chelsea) want to extend we have to see.”
While the statement in itself doesn’t prove he’s angling for a move away, but it sure shows a man who is ready a move were to happen.
So the question now is, is Mikel now finally ready to leave Chelsea?