Long-time Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel is set to finalise his move away from Stamford Bridge in the coming January transfer window, according to Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr.
The 29-year-old Mikel has not featured in a single game for the London giants this season after the club revealed in November that they would not renew the Nigerian’s contract, which ends in June of next year.
And while the lure of big money in China seems to be a huge draw from many footballers today, Mikel is thought to be uncertain of following this route, despite interest for him being shown by Chinese club Beijing Guoan.
However, all that speculation is thought to be cast aside as Gernot Rohr, Mikel’s national team head coach, has revealed the player’s preferred destination.
“He is in advanced discussions with Olympique Marseille,” Rohr told French outlet Europe 1. “Chelsea is willing to let him go for free, so Marseille is a serious option for him.”
Both sides believe they would benefit in the tabled deal. Marseille are thought to be in the lookout for a player to bolster their midfield and acquiring someone of Mikel’s pedigree for free is a worthwhile prospect. Meanwhile, Chelsea are looking to offload the player, and if they could do it earlier, the earlier also that they could get rid of Mikel’s wages, thought to be in the ballpark of 350,000 Euros per month, off their books.
Mikel has been playing for Chelsea since 2006, and has since made 374 appearances for the club, scoring six goals.