Long-term Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has admitted that he may well leave the Stamford Bridge club in January, with his contract running down.
The Nigeria international has been part of the furniture at Stamford Bridge for a decade but has found regular first-team football never guaranteed with the Blues.
— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) September 21, 2016
Since Antonio Conte’s appointment in the summer, Mikel has not been afforded a chance to play, with the likes of N’Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas ahead of him in the pecking order.
The African deep-lying playmaker’s deal with the Premier League side expires next summer, allowing him to talk to suitors in the new year and potentially leave for free at the end of the current season.
Mikel has admitted that the potential to leave Chelsea was there and that he is open to all possibilities come January.
“When you have a year left, in January you are allowed to talk to other clubs and sign a pre-contract or have an agreement so, yes, I will talk to other clubs because you never know what is going to happen,” The Mirror quote the midfielder as saying.
“If it is going to be the Premier League there will be options. If it is China or some other places, we will see.
“One thing is for sure, I will make the best decision.
“I’ve been here for a long, long time. I’ve spent 11 years of my life in this football club, it is my home. This season is the last at the club if my contract ends. I am quite relaxed about it, the future looks good.”
Mikel has always been a dependable option for Chelsea but it appears that he will be on his way out of the club in the next 12 months and that his playing time will be limited in 2016-17.