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Chelsea boss made last-minute decision to keep international after failing to sign €120m man

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho made a last-minute decision to hold on to John Obi Mikel this summer, reports Radyospor [via Metro].

The Portuguese coach had been hoping to sign Juventus star Paul Pogba, but the Blues were unable to entice the 22-year-old to Stamford Bridge. This is despite the top flight side being willing to offer more than €120 million for the France international, according to the respected journalist Tancredi Palmeri.

As such, the 52-year-old decided to block his current player’s potential move to Besiktas. Obi Mikel himself had earlier revealed that both he and the manager had wanted him to stay with the club [official site], so it is hardly surprising that this had happened. He still has two years left on his contract with the team.

“I want to stay and the manager wants me to stay,” said Mikel.

“I’ve got two years [on my contract] here and I’m happy. I like to be somewhere where I have developed friends and family.

“It’s like my family here and every day I come to work it is like coming in to see my family. I know all the players and all the staff so it’s going to be a hard place to leave when my contract runs out but let’s see what happens. I want to see out my two years.”

Even with Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas, and Ramires all appearing to be ahead of the 28-year-old in the pecking order, he could still have a part to play as the team looks to defend their Premier League crown this season. They have made a poor start to the campaign, and as such the Nigeria international may end up being far more important than first expected to the Blues’ efforts.

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So far, the Blues have lost to Crystal Palace and Manchester City, as well as drawn with Swansea City. Their only win to date was a close-fought victory over West Brom, meaning that improvement is needed quickly to challenge for the league title.

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