Jose Mourinho has reportedly offered Nigerian midfieler John Obi Mikel to clubs in Italy, as the Portuguese looks to make room to accommodate new signing Cesc Fabregas.
The London club are looking for around £5 million for the holding player, who struggled for Premier League action last season having made just 11 starts, and this is set to decrease even further next season with the capture of the ex-Barcelona man.
Mikel’s first team chances were limited last season due to the signing of Serbia’s Nemaja Matic, who made the defensive midfield berth his own with some with consistently impressive performances.
Despite not being a Chelsea regular, Mikel is still a key player for his native Nigeria as he played a key role in guiding the country through to the last 16 of this years World Cup, only to be knocked out by France.
The Italian clubs that could be interested in Mikel’s services are likey to be teams including A.C Milan, Inter Milan, Napoli, Fiorentina and Roma. At £5 million it would represent quite a bargain as the 27 year old has experience and a Champions League medal to his name, having been a regular in Chelsea’s triumphant season in 2012.
The midfielder does, however, lack goals from midfield. In 206 appearances for the Stamford Bridge side, Mikel has scored just once. This has limited his role at Chelsea as Mourinho looks for more productivity from his midfielders, although his style of play may be more suited to Serie A.
Mikel joined the Club in bizarre fashion after they were accused of ‘kidnapping’ the former Lyn Oslo midfielder from Manchester United’s grasp. However, eventually Chelsea won the race to sign him in a £16 million deal in 2006, but Chelsea are unlikely to recuperate over a quarter of that fee.
Young left-back Patrick Van Aanholt is also set to leave Stamford Bridge, having expressed his desire for first team football. The Dutchman has been linked with Feyenord to replace the outgoing Daryl Janmaat, who is Newcastle United bound.