Posted by News Express | 8 May 2014 | 3,225 times
Super Eagles midfielder John Mikel Obi is in a fix as to his next destination with Chelsea reportedly ready to sell him following a season that has seen him rarely used in the first team of the club.
Various sports tabloids are reporting that the London club are looking to cash in on the Nigerian, and Italian Seria A outfit Inter Milan are heading the queue of clubs who are vying for Mikel’s signature.
A source who is close to Super Eagles duo of Victor Moses and Mikel however revealed to News Express that though Mikel is frustrated with his lack of regular playing time and is tempted by the Inter Milan offer, he’s reluctant to leave England because he wishes to complete the mandatory 10 years a foreigner working in the United Kingdom is required to stay to gain the right to permanent residency in the UK.
“Mikel is torn between leaving Chelsea and staying. He’s not happy not having enough game time. He’s not against moving out of England to mainland Europe, but after having spent eight years in the UK, he’s well aware that in two years time he would be eligible for a permanent resident’s status in England, hence his reluctance to leave,” the source said.
The permanent residency status saves a foreigner in the UK from the hassles of applying for a visa anytime he wishes to enter the country and is usually a step to acquiring full citizenship status and all the benefit that comes with it.
Mikel, according to the source, is loathe to leaving Chelsea for a lower English Premier League team, which is the only other realistic option of remaining in England – aside from staying on at Chelsea – given the fact that the Blues are unlikely to sell him to a direct rival in the Premiership.
The agent of the Nigerian international, John Shittu, was recently quoted to have said about the likelihood of a move to Italy's Inter Milan: “Inter is a possibility but right now Mikel is a Chelsea player. I cannot tell you anything more about the negotiations.”
Mikel is one of the star players Nigerians bank on to shine for the country in next month’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
•Photo shows Mikel Obi in Chelsea colours.
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