Transfer: Mikel Snubs China for Valencia

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Duro Ikhazuagbe with agency report

Super Eagles Captain, John Mikel Obi, is believed to have agreed a four year deal with La Liga side, Valencia.

Mikel who held talks with Valencia’s Sporting Director, Jesus Garcia Pitarch, on Christmas day in London, with the prospect of switching to the Spanish club, snubbed big spending Chinese side Shanghai SIPG, French side Olympique Marseille and Serie A duo of AC and Inter Milan to land the deal.

After 11 seasons at Stamford Bridge, Mikel is joining Valencia on a free transfer after Chelsea decided to let the midfielder leave for no fee, despite having six months left on his current deal.

Valencia is expected to announce the deal as soon as they are able to trash out the modalities of Mikel transfer with Chelsea. He is due some compensation which both teams have to agree on which party will pay.

Mikel, 29, has not featured for Chelsea this season after returning from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where he led Dream Team VI to Nigeria’s only bronze medal at the Games.

Pitarch confirmed to Spanish media, Superdeporte: “In the case of Obi Mikel, with Chelsea’s permission, I met with him in London on Christmas day.

“I informed him of the option (of joining Valencia). He said he would think about it.”
Valencia is looking to reinforce their squad this month in a bid to turn their fortunes around.
With just three wins in their 15 league games, Los Che are 17th in La Liga and level on 12 points with Sporting Gijon, who are in the relegation zone.

Cesare Prandelli quit the Spanish team last Friday after less than three months in charge.
The former Italy coach stepped down following a disagreement with the club owners over transfers matters.

Mikel has made over 240 appearances for Chelsea since joining the club in the summer of 2006 from Norwegian side Lyn.

Valencia host Celta Vigo in today’s Copa del Rey round-of-16 first leg with the former club player Voro Gonzalez stepping in as interim coach for the second time this season and fifth overall.

When the news of Mikel’s transfer first leaked, a confidant of the Super Eagles captain insisted that Mikel is likely to settle for the biggest offer he can attract because he no longer has anything to prove in the game.

Two seasons ago, Mikel demanded a salary of six million dollars tax-free a year if he were to quit Stamford Bridge.

“He is not looking for a club to win more trophies again, he is looking for a club, who will give him the right money. That is the more reason the agents are now carefully studying the offers tabled by all the clubs interested in his services,” revealed the close confidant of Mikel.

“He has achieved all what he can in football, so he needs the money now.”
Although the offer from the Chinese clubs appears tempting, sources from Mikel camp hinted that it was not yet time for the Jos-born footballer to go to Asia for ‘pension’ yet.

Mikel has outdone the legendary Nwankwo Kanu as the most decorated Nigeria star after he won both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League as well as two Premier League titles, four FA Cup and two League Cup winners’ medals.