English Premiership

Mikel contemplates Chelsea exit

John Obi Mikel (AFP)
John Obi Mikel (AFP)

Cape Town - Nigeria international John Obi Mikel has admitted he will have no other option but to explore his options if Chelsea don't offer him a new contract in the near future.

With a just one year left on his contract, the versatile midfielder has struggled to break into Antonio Conte's starting XI, after his exploits for Nigeria at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

And, Mikel's prospects have not improved with the recent acquisition of former Leicester talisman N'Golo Kante, leading to questions over his future at Stamford Bridge.

Nevertheless, the 29-year-old is refusing to panic and says he won't be rushed into making a decision over his next move.

"I have one year left [on my contract]," he told Goal. "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."

Mikel also suggested that should he leave the Blues for another club, he could join former team-mate Ramires in the Chinese Super League.

"I will decide where is best for me and my family," he added.

"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."

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