Super Eagles’ captain and Chelsea’s second longest serving player, John Obi Mikel has admitted that he is ready talk to clubs in January if Chelsea is reluctant in offering him a new deal.
Mikel’s contract at the Stanford Bridge entered the final year this summer and negotiations can begin over a move at the beginning of 2017.
After helping the Under-23 team win the bronze medal at the football event in the Rio Olympics in Brazil, Mikel has so far struggled to get into Antonio Conte’s side and accepts that his time at the club could be winding up.
Mikel told Goal, “I have one year left [on my contract].
“When you have a year left as a football player, you have to start planning and start thinking about what’s going to happen at the end of the season. Yes, there are going to be rumours, yes, there are going to be conversations between clubs.
“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.
“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.”
During his 11-year spell at the club, Mikel won three Premier League titles, two FA Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League.
The 29-year-old noted that he is still hopeful to compete with new signing, N’Golo Kante for a starting spot and have his Blues contract renewed.
“I am always open to a new conversation, a negotiation (with Chelsea).
“But if there’s none, the future still looks bright.
“One day you have to move on. I think my memories here, my achievements here, are something that no one will ever take away from me.
“I have won everything there is to win with this football club. We were the first London club to win the Champions League, and forever I will be one of the first players to win the Champions League for Chelsea. Those memories will never go away.”
The father of two shared his thought about a potential move to the Chinese Super League, where ex-Chelsea players such as Demba Ba and Ramires are currently plying their trades.
According to him, “I will decide where is best for me and my family.
“You don’t just wake up as a single man and sign wherever, it has to be good for you, the family, the kids, so it is about the package. The best decision has to be made.
“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.”
However, the holding midfielder could return for Chelsea’s action against Leicester City in the EFL Cup on Tuesday night, after missing the bulk of pre-season due to international commitments.