Blues pair to finalise Stamford Bridge exits before transfer deadline.
Chelsea are close to sealing the departures of two more players before tonight’s transfer window deadline, with CaughtOffside understanding that Demba Ba and John Obi Mikel are the two players on their way out of Stamford Bridge.
Speculation has been hotting up all day that backup striker Ba has become the subject of interest from Arsenal, who have enquired about taking the 29-year-old on loan for the season.
One obstacle appeared to be Chelsea demanding a £3million fee for the loan, though Arsenal have now agreed to pay the fee and are undergoing personal negotiations with Ba and his representatives, in the hope of pushing the move through before the end of the day.
Ba was linked strongly with Arsenal in January, but chose to sign for Chelsea instead, leaving Newcastle for £7.5million to move to Stamford Bridge, though he has failed to impress in his time at the club, scoring just two Premier League goals in fifteen appearances.
Arsenal remain admirers of his though, and Arsene Wenger sees the Senegalese international as a good backup option to current first-choice Olivier Giroud, as he lacks depth upfront after selling Marouane Chamakh and Gervinho this summer.
With Ba unlikely to feature in Jose Mourinho’s plans now with the signing of Samuel Eto’o from Anzhi Makhachkala, the former West Ham man is supposedly keen on securing a move to the Gunners to enjoy more regular first-team football, and a deal should be announced later this evening.
Joining him in leaving Chelsea today will be Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel, who will complete a move to Turkish giants Galatasaray, after recently attracting their interest.
The 26-year-old has been at Chelsea since 2006, becoming a key player at the club from a young age, but will be allowed to leave this summer after Mourinho has shown a preference for a Ramires-Lampard partnership in midfield, with Mikel’s defensive skills not making up for his lack of end product and ability going forward.
He will move for around £10million and join the likes of former team-mate Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder in being the latest big name signed by Galatasaray.
It is unclear if Mourinho has a replacement in mind for Mikel, though the Blues have been linked on several occasions with Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira this summer.
The departures of these two players follows the loan deal that sees Victor Moses join Liverpool, as Mourinho has successfully attempted to trim down his squad at Stamford Bridge.