Chelsea’s out of favour midfielder John Obi Mikel is in advanced talks with Marseille ahead of a potential transfer – that is according to Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr, via Four Four Two.
The 29-year-old, who has made 372 appearances for Chelsea since joining the club in 2006, has been frozen out by Blues boss Antonio Conte, failing to appear in a single game this year.
Mikel’s contract expires at the end of the season and he is widely expected to depart on a free, with Marseille looking like the most likely suitors.
This prospect of him going to Ligue 1 was handed a boost when Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr, a good friend of Mikel’s, claimed that he was in advanced talks ahead of a potential switch.
”I saw Obi Mikel in London,” Rohr told Europe 1, as quoted by Four Four Two. “He is in advanced discussions with Olympique Marseille.
“He will leave Chelsea for free. This is a serious option.”
This contrasts with what Mikel said at the start of the season, with the Nigerian midfielder ruling out a Stamford Bridge exit.
“I am definitely staying at Chelsea and I will try to give my best to the club, like I have always done,” Mikel told the London Evening Standard.
“I want to help the team fight for every point, every win and to win trophies. I also want to help the team qualify for the Champions League again as soon as possible.
“For 10 years I have been going to the same training ground, the same locker room. It is an amazing club, with an amazing owner. They are like a family to me. It is a place that has become a part of me.”