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Mikel Set to Dump Chinese Club, Rohr Admits Uncertainty over His Eagles Future
Super Eagles Captain, John Obi Mikel, has revealed that he hascancelled his contract with Chinese Super League club, Tianjin Teda, a year before the agreement between club and player was due to run out.
The former Chelsea midfielder did not travel with the Tianjin Teda first-teamers to Spain for pre-season training as he is negotiating with the club to break his contract.
In an interview with Tianjin TV Sports New Vision programme, Mikel said: ‘’I broke the contract with the club, which means I will leave Teda. As for my next stop, I am not sure yet, maybe I will return to Europe, maybe stay in China. Anyway, I would like to wish the Teda team good luck next season.’’
Mikel performed well for Tianjin Teda in the first half of the 2018 season but struggled with injuries in the second half after representing Nigeria at the World Cup.
Throughout his stay in China, the central midfielder cum defender featured in 31 Super League matches, scoring three goals and three assists.
Meanwhile, Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr, has finally admitted uncertainty over the future of Mikel Obi with the Nigerian national team.
Although Rohr had all along maintained that he and Mikel are in regular contact over the midfielder’s decision to regain full fitness before returning to international duty, the gaffer is now sounding less certain.
Such that Rohr stopped short of affirming whether the Eagles’ skipper will be available for the team’s first two matches of 2019, as he failed to give any exact date for the star’s return.
Instead of confirming that Mikel will be invited for the last Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles in Asaba on March 22, 2019, and the international friendly against Egypt four days later, Rohr declared in a media chat that he does not know the Teda star’s schedule.
With Mikel also failing to fix any particular date on his much-expected return to the Eagles, Rohr has now opted to play safe on his comments about the former Chelsea star, who was riddled with several fitness issues last season in the Chinese Super League.
Unlike before when Rohr would boldly declare that he is aware of his skipper’s plans and doused talk about the icon heading for retirement, Rohr simply stated this time, “We don’t know yet when or if Obi Mikel wants to join the Eagles.”