John Obi Mikel, who has not played a single match this season under Antonio Conte, is poised to leave Chelsea in January. The 29-year-old midfielder has received offers from Valencia, Inter Milan and Olympic Marseille. In addition, the Nigerian has rejected an offer from China, choosing football and family stability over money.
A source close to the player said, as quoted by ESPN:
All the offers are getting serious consideration but it is first and foremost about project football, and not about money. That is why we are not considering the offer from China.
He also has a young family that is very important to him and he does not want to cause any upheaval in their lives. Family is No. 1 priority for him in all this, so that is another reason for him to want to stay in Europe.
Mikel joined Chelsea in 2006, and has made over 370 appearances for the club. In recent years, he has struggled to hold down a regular starting place, and has been used sparingly. This season, he has dropped down the pecking order behind N’Golo Kanté, Nemanja Matić, and Cesc Fàbregas, and has yet to make the bench this season, let alone feature in the starting XI.
The report suggests that Mikel will sort out his future quickly and is expected to take a final decision after the festive period is over. Mikel is a solid and reliable midfielder, and should be playing regularly at the top level. After spending a decade at Chelsea, it seems he is finally ready to move on to something new.