Chelsea midfielder Mikel John Obi has revealed that he could leave Stamford Bridge in January if he remains unable to force his way back into first-team plans before that time – the Nigerian is still yet to feature this season under new manager Antonio Conte, 90min reports.
Mikel remains Chelsea’s second longest serving player after John Terry after his arrival from Norwegian football in 2006. He was unable to participate in pre-season and make an early impression on Conte because of his participation in the Nigerian Olympic squad.
That is perhaps one of the reasons he hasn’t been able to get on the pitch this season, but the player has insisted he has no regrets, not least because he returned from Brazil with a bronze medal.
“I have never been a guy who will make excuses in life, I never shy away from responsibilities. People might look at it that way,” he told BBC World Service as commented on choosing international duty over club commitments.
“A new manager coming in was probably upset that I left for the Olympics and probably thinks I don’t care about the team, but I don’t want to use things like that as excuses,” he added.
“At the end of the day I have to keep training hard to try and change the manager’s mind. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. I will keep doing my best and keep being ready for whenever I’m called upon and then we’ll see what happens in January.
“When you make a decision or sacrifice in life you have to stand by it. I have no regrets at all about going to the Olympics and I would not trade my Olympic medal for anything. I deserve it, I worked so hard for it, so why would I trade it for something else?”
Mikel will be out of contract at the end of the season. His time in west London could come to an end sooner if a deal can be agreed when the transfer window opens after Christmas. He admitted he was happy if this is to be the end full in the knowledge of all he has previously achieved for Chelsea.
“I’ve been part of this club’s best years. They’d never won the Champions League before and I played in that final. I’ve written my name in the history books of this club, I’ve won loads of trophies and have played close to 400 games, I have no single regret,” he explained.
“As a player, you’re still hungry and want to win more. I still want to help the team but if that’s the way it shall end, that’s the way it shall end. I’m very relaxed about the January window, I will speak to the club and we’ll find the best solution.”