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StoryHEADING TO THE EXIT

Chelsea midfielder John obi Mikel is widely thought to be heading towards the exit door after interest from Inter Milan has been growing in the last few weeks. The Nigerian international has been unable to seal a first-team squad at the club.

This was despite finishing second to Yaya Touré in the African Player of the Year contest. Yaya Touré is widely regarded as the best midfielder in the Premier league right now. Due to his absence of regular first-team football, Mikel’s position in the Nigerian national team is also under threat.

Mikel was originally signed by Jose Mourinho in 2006. Over the years, he has been a consistent first-team player even when the club was going through several managerial changes. After the arrival of Mourinho in the summer, it was expected that Mikel would retain his first-team place in the squad. However, the manager has brought in Nemanja Matic from Benfica for a transfer fee of £ 25 million. He has been utilised as the midfield pairing along with Ramires. It is now looking highly unlikely that Mikel would be able to force his way into the first-team given the way that Matic has been playing.

As a result, Inter Milan have been linked with a £ 10 million offer for the midfielder, who still has three years left on his contract. The midfielder was brought to the club for around £ 16 million in 2006. It is extremely possible that Chelsea would consider a fee in the region of around £ 15 million as the transfer valuation of the player. Mikel is one of the few players left in the team that won the 2012 Champions League and several other trophies during the Mourinho’s first spell at the club.

He has made more than 250 appearances for Chelsea since 2006.