Former Chelsea player, John Obi Mikel gives his reason for turning down Sir Alex Ferguson in favour of a move to the Blues
After impressing for Nigeria in both the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2003 and the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2005, Mikel became the center of a transfer battle between the two Premier League giants Manchester United and Chelsea who were managed by Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho at that time.
Mikel even went as far as undergoing a month-long trial at Old Trafford. However, a breakdown in communication between him and the United boss made the possibility of joining the Manchester United almost impossible.
Reminiscing, Mikel admitted, “It was surreal.” “I was at school, but Chelsea and Manchester United – two of the world’s biggest clubs – trying to sign me,” he continued.
Mikel, who had signed a contract with United, had to join Chelsea because of Jose Mourinho and the fact that his club, Lyn, had already agreed terms with the London club.
“I was thinking about Jose Mourinho,” The Nigerian midfielder admitted.
Mikel went on to have a fantastic time at Chelsea during Mourinho’s two spells at the club and was the favourite of every Chelsea manager before deciding to call it an end after over a decade at the club.
During his time with Chelsea, Mikel Obi was favoured by Jose Mourinho as a key member of the Blues’ squad that won the Champions league and two Premier league. He is currently one of the most successful footballers ever produced by Nigeria.
According to transfermarkt, he is valued at 23,00 Mill. €.