Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel looks certain to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer, amid reports that Jose Mourinho is currently assessing offers from two clubs overseas.
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Chelsea transfer latest: Jose Mourinho identifies Ghanaian starlet as Atletico Madrid-bound defender’s replacement
The Nigeria international was one of Mourinho’s major signings in his first spell in charge of the west London outfit, but has fallen out of favour since the Portuguese manager’s return to the Stamford Bridge dug-out in 2013. He has made just 15 Premier League starts over the past two seasons, and his days in the English capital look numbered, as 2014 signings Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas have cemented the central midfield roles.
According to the London Evening Standard, the 28-year-old has received offers from Super Lig side Fenerbahce and United Arab Emirates club Al Ain.
The holding midfielder was also rumoured to be a transfer target for La Liga BBVA giants Real Madrid back in April [via the Express], though speculation on a move to the Santiago Bernabeu has cooled.
If Mikel is to leave in the coming months, he could be one of three of Mourinho’s original key players from his first spell in charge to depart.
Petr Cech, who saw his position as No.1 taken by Thibaut Courtois last season, is said to be closing in on a move to rivals Arsenal [via the Independent].
Didier Drogba, who was originally brought to the club in July 2004, has left on a free transfer.
The Blues are renowned for spending big in the transfer windows since Roman Abramovich’s take-over in 2003; however, since the former Los Blancos manager’s return to the club, they have worked with a strict market policy.
Juan Mata, David Luiz, Fernando Torres, Andre Schurrle, Kevin De Bruyne, Demba Ba, Romelu Lukaku and Patrick van Aanholt have all been sold to finance such new signings as Fabregas, Matic and Diego Costa over the past two campaigns. Meanwhile, club legends Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole were allowed to leave on a free – proving just how ruthless they have been in the market with Mourinho back in charge.
Mikel and Cech look set to be the latest players surplus to requirements at the Bridge, as the former Inter Milan coach aims to build a dynasty.