Over the past few weeks Chelsea boss has ruled out that midfielder Cesc Fabregas is not leaving in the transfer window, however Conte has been a bit unclear on John Obi Mikel’s future at Stamford Bridge. The Chelsea boss though has admitted that even the Nigerian should not be leaving the club, claiming he is an integral part of the London club this season, although he could leave the Blues next summer.
29 year old Mikel was a regular starter under interim manager Guus Hiddink last term but has not made a single appearance for current Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.
Apparently Mikel’s role doesn’t suit Conte’s new 3-4-3 system and academy product Nathaniel Chalobah has leapfrogged into the back-up position. But Conte remains adamant that Mikel will not be leaving this winter with only six months left on his Chelsea contract.
Conte had previously stated, “The situation with Obi Mikel is simple: he’s in the squad. He stays with us.”
“I don’t think this is the place to talk about this. If I have to talk about the contracts of my players, I prefer to do it in the right place with my club.”
The former Italy manager added, “We know that, at the end of the season, probably his contract will expire. But I don’t know what happens now. He’s a player who is part of this squad and every single game I take my decision about him.”
Jose Mourinho is reportedly interested in the Nigerian captain and they cut cut-short a price for Mikel but it is likely that the midfielder will spend the rest of the season at Chelsea.
A report further added that Valencia, Inter Milan and Marseille are also planning to add the midfielder to their squads in the new year and it could be an interesting battle for his signature.