But for Mikel Obi’s reported £3.4million yearly salary, his rescue from Chelsea would have been a smooth sail as French giants Marseille are willing to strike the deal.
The Nigeria captain who joined the Premier League powerhouse in 2006, has been frozen out of the team by the Blues’ Italian manager Antonio Conte, who took over the reins at the Stamford Bridge side in the summer.
French outlet Le 10 Sport on Thursday, November 17, 2016 reported that Marseille manager, Rudi Garcia was desperate to sign the 29-year-old Super Eagles midfielder in January to boost his midfield options but said “the salary of Mikel Obi would be problematic”.
Mikel who guided Nigeria to a 3-1 win over Algeria’s Desert Foxes in their Russia 2018 World Cup Group B qualifier in Uyo on Saturday, has won two Premier League titles, the Champions League and four FA Cups with the club, as he is deemed surplus to requirements by Conte.
The Nigerian forward could move to China where he would be guaranteed an annual salary that is equivalent to his current earnings at Chelsea.
Although it is evident that Chelsea is set to offload Mikel, the striker last week revealed that he was ready to quit the club during the January transfer window for first-team football elsewhere.
He said: “Yes, maybe people will say the new manager was upset I left and went to the Olympics, that I didn’t have a pre-season with the team.
“He (Conte) probably thinks I don’t care about the team, things like that.
“But I don’t want to use those excuses. I have to keep training hard and make sure I change the manager’s mind. If not, then we’ll see what happens in January.”
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