Friday, December 3

Mikel Obi Set For Return To English Football With Stoke on A Free Transfer

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Frankie Omokhua

English Championship side, Stoke City, are closing on agreement over a one-year deal for former Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel.

The former Nigeria captain, 33, is a free agent having left Turkish side, Trabzonspor, by mutual consent in March.

Stoke have been in talks with Mikel for a couple of weeks and agreed terms with another free agent, Steven Fletcher, last week.

Mikel, made 249 Premier League appearances for Chelsea in an 11-year spell, which ended when he left Stamford Bridge in 2017.

He won the Champions League and Europa League, two Premier Leagues, three FA Cups and the League Cup with the London side.

Mikel has not played in England since a six-month spell at Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough in 2019, where he scored one goal in 19 appearances in all competitions.

He also had a two-year spell at Chinese Super League side, Tianjin Teda, before joining the Riverside Stadium. 

The 33-year-old would help Michael O’Neill’s side with their promotion plans after two disappointing seasons in the second tier.

The Potters were relegated from the Premier League in 2018 and finished in the bottom-half of the Championship in each of the last two seasons.

Stoke sacked managers Garry Rowett and Nathan Jones in those Championship campaigns, with former Northern Ireland coach, O’Neill, saving them from relegation to League One with just one game to spare earlier this summer.

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