According to reports from Turkish Football, who have cited another Turkish media outlet Milliyet, Besiktas are considering a late summer move for Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel after failing to land Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva.
Besiktas president, Fikret Orman has confirmed (as reported by Liverpool Echo) that Liverpool have put to rest their plans on selling Lucas despite reports suggesting that 28-year-old had been expected to leave the Anfield side in the summer.
Lucas, who was left out of the squad for the Reds’ first two league games of the new Premier League season against Stoke City and Bournemouth produced a magnificent display against Arsenal in the 0-0 draw at Emirates on Monday night.
Manager Brendan Rodgers was full of praise of the Brazilian following his side’s display in North London, “Lucas is our best defensive midfield player. There are games where I play three midfield players but not always with a defensive specific one, but when we do need that, he is the best one we have. He’s certainly very important to what we want to do.”
Besiktas have thus turned their attention to Obi Mikel, who could leave Stamford Bridge for more game time elsewhere. The 28 year old is expected to have very little game time this season and he is already fallen in Jose Mourinho’s pecking order behind Nemanja Matic and Ramires for a starting eleven spot.
Turkish Football also claim that Nigerian newspaper Punch have reported that Besiktas offered Chelsea €5m for Mikel though they are more interested on a loan deal for this season with a future buyout clause option for the player.
The key ice-breaker in the deal could be Chelsea’s friendly relationship with the Turkish side. Back in October last year, we had reported that the Blues and the Super Eagles reached a partnership agreement which involves close co-operation between the first teams and academies, training support and joint scouting projects. This also includes potential transfers and players going ou on loan.
Chelsea haven’t made a confident start in the Premier League and have just 4 points to show from their opening 3 games. Thus it will be interesting to see if Mourinho lets Mikel to leave despite knowing that his side will be contesting on four fronts all season round.
Indeed, the ‘Special One’ has a decision to make!